At some point in your adult life, if you have children, you will realize that the student (your child) has become the teacher. This switching of roles thus makes you (at one time the in-charge, all-knowing parent), the student. It is a hard pill to swallow. But, it is a necessary remedy for wondering how effective you are in your parenting role.
As parents we inevitably will ask ourselves, "Are all the lessons and advice I am trying to instill in my kids' brain getting through to them?" Does what I say (and sometimes repeat over and over for years on end) ever register with them? And, if you are very lucky, you will one day realize that they were listening after all! It is a fine day when this realization becomes clear.
My eldest son, a sophomore in college, is gracing us with his presence this weekend during his fall break. And, the funny thing is, he really does think he is doing it for our benefit. He realizes we miss him. More importantly, he knows how much he is loved. But, even better, at the ripe old age of 19, he understands that his tough love and words of wisdom are much-needed.
Being in college is not so much about opening the books and studying your ass off to get a 4.0 grade point average (although I will forever continue to nag him about how important this is and how it should be his first priority). Getting a higher education, away from home, is more about learning about yourself through the people you meet. They may be your roommates who come from a different culture or another part of the country. They may be the cute girl down the hall that you happen to say 'hello' to or hold the door for and befriend unexpectedly. Inevitably, you will each share a part of yourselves, your upbringing, your childhood 'story'. You may even realize through all of the sharing of personal experiences that you really have had a blessed life compared to others.
College is an exciting time for discovering who you are and who you want to be in the future. You gain an understanding of how you became the person you are today and more importantly find out what you need to do to become the best and happiest you. You have the freedom from your families' influence because you've been away from them for a while. You've stepped away far enough from the situation to see the function (or disfunction) of the relationships around you.
And the best part? You now have the courage and confidence to speak your mind. You tell those you love what their shortcomings are and what they need to do to change and be a better person. This may shock, aggravate, or make the receiver of the message uncomfortable but you are so cocky you really don't give a shit. And the best part? You are right on the mark. Yes, you may be a little direct and abrasive but your candor alone reveals just how much you love those around you. You are willing to be upfront and honest because the people you love deserve to know what you think.
And if you are REALLY loved? They will ask you your opinion and thank you for imparting your wisdom!