117: It is FAFSA time & Let’s Talk About College Breaks 📅

117: It is FAFSA time & Let's Talk About College Breaks 📅

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend,

If you have a child in college, and they'll continue to be a college student next year, it is time to complete the FAFSA! 

It is also time to think about winter break. 

Whether they were on-campus or not, I've got you covered in this episode as, it isn't always a party when they return home. 🎈

Coach Christine,

Your Empty Nest Coach

"Your child will be different when they return home, whether it is their first semester in college or their fourth. I can’t tell you exactly how they’re going to be different, but I can tell you they will be different."

Take a listen or read the full transcript at the bottom of this post.

⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don't miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓

🎙The podcast episode in which I remind you that the #FAFSA is open, and we talk about how to prepare for the upcoming college breaks. 💚 #CollegeParents #CollegeBreaks  #EmptyNest  #Podcast #EmptyNestMom #EmptyNestSyndrome 

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This Episode is Brought To You By

What You Will Learn in this Episode 

  • A Reminder that The FAFSA is Open for the 2021-2022 School Year
  • Things to Consider for the Upcoming College Breaks - Even if Your Student is Home!

Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. Do you need to complete the FAFSA?
  2. Are you ready for the upcoming college break?

💚  Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now:   https://www.speakpipe.com/EmptyNestCoach  or call/text to 920-LIFEWIN (920-543-3946).

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FULL TRANSCRIPT: 

Episode 117 of the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast


00:00:00

Christine:  Hi, it’s Coach Christine.  This is my podcast.  It’s the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast and you are now listening to episode number 117.  If you are new here, know that I tend to use terms I’ve introduced in prior episodes.  Should you feel a bit lost, use my show notes for best places to begin.  In this episode, I talk about the FAFSA and how to prepare for college breaks, whether your child is currently on-campus or not.

00:00:28  

I work with mothers of high school students and beyond, who are in the trenches with sad and possibly, overwhelming thoughts about what their life will look like when their baby heads to college and begins to leave the nest.  My clients’ big question is what will I do with my time?  Is this you?  I’ve been there, and I get it.  Empowering you to write the next jaw-dropping, amazing chapter in your life is my passion.  I am energized by leading you in the process of exploration and am thrilled when you unlock the power that lies within you.  This podcast is my gift to you.

00:00:49

My future empty nest friend, and Conscious Effective Olympian, or CEO, of your life, how are you doing today?  Holy cow, there is a chance that this episode may be analogy-free.  Can I even do that?  Show notes for this episode have links to anything I discuss that is linkable, and of course, you’ll find all sorts of fun stuff, and ways to work with me on my website: YourEmptyNestCoach.com.  If you enjoy this episode, I invite you to subscribe to this podcast, and to consider joining the GPS Support Flock.  What is that?  I’m so glad you asked; take a listen.  

00:01:41

Thanks!  Thank you!  It’s time to thank our sponsor.  This episode is sponsored by my membership community, The GPS Support Flock; Your Flight to Success in the Empty Nest.  If you are ready to find the GPS of your life, sign up to receive an immediate and free download of my PDF, "How to Find Yourself in the Empty Nest," our GPS Life Principles document.  You will also have the opportunity to learn about our community.  See the link in this episode's show notes or fly on over to my website, YourEmptyNestCoach.com.  Click the GPS Support Flock button.  See you soon! 

00:02:28  

This is a bit of an informational episode.  Use it as a reference and don’t be afraid to pop back here again, if need be, or to pause it for later.  First up, I’d like to remind you that, yes, is it FAFSA time.  This will be important to you if you are in the U.S., and your child plans to attend college in the upcoming school year.  I get that a lot of things are up in the air, but if you think there is a chance they’ll attend, I recommend doing the FAFSA.  It can’t hurt.

 00:02:54 

I’ve heard people say, “Oh no, it’s FAFSA time.  I hate doing the FAFSA. It’s awful.” I have to admit, while the result from the FAFSA doesn’t usually make me want to jump up and down with excitement, the process of actually completing it isn’t too bad.  The FAFSA is going to be as awful as you allow your mind to let it be.  So choose.  I use, “It’s FAFSA time; I’m excited to be done with it.”  It works.

 00:03:19 

If you have never done the FAFSA before, you’ll need to get the IDs first.  A parent will need one, and your student will need one.  Once you have the ID’s, you then have the actual form to complete.  All of this is available via studentaid.gov. I don’t recommend paying someone else to do the FAFSA for you.  It’s rare that this would be needed.  I’d set aside 15 minutes to create the IDs and then 30 minutes to do the FAFSA.  Both I think are padded generously, but just in case, that’ll give you a ballpark idea of how long it takes.

 00:03:51 

The FAFSA is completed every year your child is in college, so it’s good to make friends with it, if they’ll be attending.  It will pull your tax information from a prior year, so have that info handy in case it doesn’t import automatically.  You’ll find plenty of videos and free tutorials if you run into problems.  I’m not a financial aid advisor.  I’m a mom who has a daughter in her senior year, so I’ve done it four times now.

 00:04:16 

You’ll get a confirmation email in a few days that confirms it was processed and there will be an EFC number.  That number doesn’t have a dollar sign, it’s simply digits.  It represents the amount of money that the government believes you can afford to pay for your child’s education for the next year.  That’s one year.  Be prepared for this number to be more than you’d expect.  I recommend sitting down.

 00:04:39

The colleges your child applies to will use this number in determining financial aid available to them, including government loans.  Every college’s financial aid package will be different, so weigh their options carefully.  Also, consider all four years.  Look at the fine print on the awarding, to be sure you and your child are comfortable with where they’ll land before making any firm decisions.  Long story short, it’s FAFSA time and if your child plans for college next year, put it on your radar to complete in the near future, if you haven’t already.  That is my friendly reminder. 

 00:05:12

Now let’s talk about college breaks.  You may know I’ve been having a lot of fun creating Reels on Instagram.  I’m even teaching some women now, how to become comfortable with them.  Lately, I’ve been taking some information from the podcast and putting it into these little 15-second to 30-second Reels, so I am doing a series within the Reels.  Currently, one is about college breaks and how you should prepare as a parent for college breaks.  I am going to talk about both, if your child has been on campus and if your child has not.  You may gain something out of both, but if you want to jump to one section, check my show notes for time markers. 

 00:05:48

For those of you whose child has been on-campus:

First, be prepared for a routine change, again. When your child left for college, your routine in the household changed and it impacted everyone, even the pets.  When your college-student returns home, they’ll be used to the old routine and the rest of you won’t, so be prepared for change.  Second, expect them to be tired.  They have been going nonstop while they are away, and even if they had less activities than anyone expected, due to being on a campus with physical distancing, trust me, the emotional toll of being in that environment is exhausting and they more than likely couldn’t stop.  They had to keep going.  So the moment they cross the threshold of your home, wherever you live, they are going to feel like their five-year-old self safe and comfortable, whether that’s where they lived when they were five or not.  I know, some of you are going to get technical with me there.  But hopefully, they know they feel safe here.

 00:06:44 

Expect them to be really tired, expect them to go into this decompress mode.  They more than likely won’t be planning it.  It will be something that happens.  They may not even be aware they need it.  Don’t be surprised if they disappear for two days in their room which, you know, maybe they should be quarantining anyway.  If they don’t, so be it.  But if they do, I don’t want you to be surprised.  I warned you.  Third, set some expectations.  We already talked about how routines will be off-kilter a bit again.  Take some time now, ahead of time to think about how your routine before they left is different from how it is now.  Do you want it all to go back to the way it was?  Is there something new that you want to make sure doesn’t change?  Address it now.  Maybe you don’t want to do their laundry.  Set those expectations before they get home, but also be okay if their laundry doesn’t get washed on day one, unless you set that expectation.  Get the idea?

 00:07:33

You also may want to check in with them and ask them what they’re really looking forward to, in case that’s something you could do without.  Remove the tension later.  Take the time to be curious about what you love now and what you want to stay.  Have fun with this and get creative.  By looking at this early and addressing it, will remove some tension on your time together.  So think ahead and figure out what, if anything, should be addressed.  

 00:07:59 

Fourth, your child will be different when they return home, whether it’s their first semester in college or their fourth.  I can’t tell you exactly how they’re going to be different, but I can tell you they will be different.  Independence changes a person in all sorts of ways.  Take the opportunity to get to know them all over again.  Remove your assumptions about who they were and get to know who they are now.

 00:08:23 

My next tip is for both parents whose college-student has been on-campus and for parents who have had their child home.  Take some time to celebrate where you are today and that you’ve made it to a milestone, and you should take some time to celebrate.  It doesn’t need to be a huge celebration.  I have a minimalist mindset, so I’d celebrate with a walk to get coffee, or a specifically chosen movie night, with maybe some special food.  But this is your celebration, make it what works for you and your family.  Give yourself a pat on the back for navigating all of your emotions through this semester.  Make sure you also tell your child how proud you are of them.  If you are having trouble finding this, take some time to really look.  You’ll find it.  Celebrate. 

 00:09:07

If your child did not move out of your home for this semester, here are a couple of tips I have for you.  First, if you haven’t already, talk about the spring semester.  Discuss the options available for your student, if there are any.  If an option to move-on campus suddenly arrives, is that something they’d want to do?  Do they definitely want to stay home again?  Is there anything they would like to have different, if they do stay home?  The same question for you.  If they want to go back to campus, take the opportunity to be curious about the emotions and thoughts that arise in you.  Provide them a safe space to share.  I’d also recommend having this conversation or conversations outside of the celebration space.  Celebration is for celebration.  It’s also okay to celebrate even if you don’t know what is next, in case somebody needs that permission.  More than likely you aren’t sure of all of your options, yet.  But have fun exploring what they could be and what life might be like if you have them available. 

 

00:10:08

Second, take the opportunity to notice if anything has changed about your child this semester.  Yes, even while at home.  They may not have been able to experience the level of independence that attending classes on campus would have given them, but take a moment to notice the child in your home, that they would have returned different.  Where do your thoughts go?  Are you happy they’re still at home?  Happy for the extra time?  Are you bummed for them, that they didn’t get to experience the on-campus life?  If so, add “yet” to the end of that statement and how does that feel? 

 00:10:41

I’ll be honest, my child went to campus.  I may not be able offer much here, but I’d love to know how you feel, if this is you.  Do you have tips, tricks, thoughts for other parents in your situation?  If so, I’d love to share them with my audience on social media.  I’m done recording episodes for 2020, otherwise I’d slide it into an upcoming episode.  But if you email me at Christine@youremptynestcoach.com or message me on Instagram, @emptynestcoach, I’d love to share.  Oh, I also could add this in my monthly email, or of course, the flock!  Yes, yes.  You should join the flock.

[Music]

00:11:18

The questions I have for you in this episode are, one, do you need to complete the FAFSA?  And, two, are you ready for the upcoming college break?  As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend.  My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life.  My next episode’s title is: The Benefit of Taking Time Off.  This one is listener requested.

00:11:44

Are you able to screenshot this episode right now?  If so, take a minute to do that and then to share it on social media to help others find it.  That would be incredibly helpful.  Be sure to tag me @emptynestcoach so I may personally thank you.  Happy FAFSAing and prepping for that upcoming college break!  You, my empty nest friend, are amazing!

[Bloopers]

00:12:52

Still listening? 

This semester has been odd. We usually only see our daughter once prior to Thanksgiving, if we are lucky.  She’s a few states away.  But this is her senior year, and she has her senior art show and thesis, and we can’t go.  It totally makes sense.  Hubby and are good with it.  We don’t need to be on the college campus, but it’s yet another thing that who would have thought we wouldn’t be doing this year.  Have you had any of these moments lately?

[Music]

[End]

103: How to Help Your College Student Prepare for A Different Campus Part 2 of 2 Featuring Dr. Jill Grimes, Author and a Family Physician Focused on College Student Health

103: How to Help Your College Student Prepare for A Different Campus Part 2 of 2 featuring Dr. Jill Grimes, MD

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend, 

If your child is scheduled to head back to campus in four to six weeks, you may have questions about how to best prepare for campus during COVID.

In this episode, I have great fun chatting with Dr. Jill about this topic. We talk about forms, checklists, favorite chapters of her new book, and so much more!

Her book, The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook, Your Guide for Everything from Hangovers to Homesickness, is the perfect reference book for both you and your child. I give it my five happy chick rating, and I invite you to  listen to the full episode. 

We created the COVID Emergency Bag Checklist! Click here or the image below to print your copy now. 

Take a listen or read the full transcript at the bottom of this post.

⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don't miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓

Podcast episode!🎙 Is your college student heading back to campus in a few weeks? @JillGrimesMD and @emptynestcoach have some tips for you! 💚 #CollegeParent #EmptyNest #CollegeLife #CollegeStudent #FallSemester #BackToCampus

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This Episode is Brought To You By

What You Will Learn in this Episode 

  • Learn how Dr. Jill became an author and an on-campus health provider
  • What forms Dr. Jill plans to complete ahead of time for her college-aged daughters
  • Student health care center tips and advice
  • The moment we came up with the COVID Emergency Bag Checklist
  • And more!

Where to Find Dr. Jill Grimes Online

Quick Tip Submissions

Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. Have you picked up Dr. Jill’s book yet, or are you on the way to order it?   
  2. What question do you wish I had asked Dr. Jill?

💚  Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now:   https://www.speakpipe.com/EmptyNestCoach  or call/text to 920-LIFEWIN (920-543-3946).

Episode Resources

First Time Here? Try This Order of Episodes

Subscribe To This Podcast

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Want to get notified of new episodes directly on your phone? Subscribe to this podcast using your favorite app!

FULL TRANSCRIPT: 

Episode 103 of the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast

00:00:00

Christine:  You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 103: How to Help Your College Student Prepare for a Different Campus. This is Part 2 of 2, featuring Dr. Jill Grimes, author, and a family physician focused on college student health. I can’t wait for you to hear this. I work with mothers of high school students and beyond, who are in the trenches with sad and possibly, overwhelming thoughts about what their life will look like when their baby heads to college and begins to leave the nest.  My clients’ big question is what will I do with my time?  Is this you?  I’ve been there, and I get it.  Empowering you to write the next jaw-dropping, amazing chapter in your life is my passion.  I am energized by leading you in the process of exploration and am thrilled when you unlock the power that lies within you.  This podcast is my gift to you.

00:01:00

Hello, my empty nest friend and CEO of Your Life! In this episode, I welcome Dr. Jill Grimes to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast. I am crazy excited to have her here. I have read her book: “The ULTIMATE College Student Health Handbook: Your Guide for Everything from Hangovers to Homesickness.” It is fabulous. I’m going to keep the copy I have for myself and pick up another one for my daughter. Yes, it’s that good. Speaking of my daughter, I asked her to take a look at my copy of Dr. Jill’s book. My daughter’s comment was, “This book will be great to have in my dorm room, especially as a peer RA, as residents may have concerns that I don’t know anything about.”

00:01:46 

Well done, Dr. Jill, on creating one of the few resources that when I shared with my daughter, I didn’t get the “Okay, Mom” eye roll. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, consider yourself lucky.  No, my friend, I’m not immune to it either.

 

00:02:01

Dr. Jill Grimes is a nationally recognized medical media expert, award-winning author, medical editor, and Board-Certified Family Physician.  Her passion is prevention.  After two decades of private practice, Dr. Grimes now enjoys seeing patients part-time at the University of Texas in Austin.  What you, my listener will be interested in is that she is also a proud mom to two awesome collegiate daughters.

00:02:29

I don’t think I could find a more perfect guest for this podcast at this particular time.  My daughter’s scheduled to head back to college in four weeks, so this is timely for me, as well.  Dr. Jill’s book is a wonderful reference book containing topics such as sunscreen, tattoos, hangovers, the “missing” tampon, nose bleeds, and so much more.  You know that first aid kit I mentioned in the last episode?  Dr. Jill’s book has a Bonus Section about your DIY First Aid Kit.  You have to check it out for yourself.  I give this book my highest rating, five happy chicks! 

 

00:03:09

At the end of this episode, I’m also going to give you a couple of follow up things that Dr. Jill and I talked about offline after the recording.  She has a blog, media interviews and more on her website, so I encourage you to dive into those to learn more about amazing Dr. Jill.  Also, if you find you wish I asked her other questions, please don’t hesitate to send them in as an audio message or email, and we’ll see if we can get them answered on an upcoming episode!  I’ll be asking her a handful or so of questions today.

 

00:03:40 

Before we dive in, a quick reminder, that if you find yourself talking back to me at any part of this episode; if something resonates with you; or if you have a quick tip to share with my audience, please take the opportunity to leave me audio feedback either through SpeakPipe or my Google Voice number. You’ll find the information to do this in the description of this episode: on Apple Podcasts click “Details”; on Spotify click “See More”; on Overcast press the I for information button. Get the idea? Of course I always have full show notes with links to anything I discuss in the episode, and a full episode transcription on my website. Those reside at YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P (for podcast) and 103 (for this episode’s number). (YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P103). I can’t wait to hear from you!

00:04:30

Thanks!  Thank you!  It’s time to thank our sponsor.  This episode is sponsored by my membership community, The GPS Support Flock; Your Flight to Success in the Empty Nest. If you are ready to find the GPS of your life, sign up to receive an immediate and free download of my PDF, "How to Find Yourself in the Empty Nest," our GPS Life Principles document. You will also have the opportunity to learn about our community. See the link in this episode's show notes or fly on over to my website, YourEmptyNestCoach.com. Click the GPS Support Flock button.  See you soon! 

00:05:16

Christine:  Welcome to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, Dr. Jill Grimes.

Dr. Jill:  Thank you so much for having me.  I’m thrilled to be here.

Christine:  I’m thrilled to have you here today, and I love that your daughter is the illustrator of your book.  Now, was that something that you had planned all along, or did it just happen to work out?

Dr. Jill:  Oh, my goodness, I am just thrilled that it worked out.  No, it was not something I planned all along.  In fact, I just didn’t think a publisher would agree to that, because they have in-house artists.  What happened is, my daughter, I’ve been asking her to draw pictures and sketches for my medical presentations for years now, because that way I don’t have to worry about copyrights.  She’s done them; I’m not stealing anyone’s ideas, and besides that, I can make it look how I want to make it look.  She was doing that, and when I submitted my book proposal, I submitted her pictures along with it.  They said, well, is she available to be the illustrator, and I’m like, yes.  I’m thrilled.  It worked out great.

Christine:  I love that so much, and I identify with it, because I’ve also had my daughter make drawings for me, for the same reason.

Dr. Jill:  Yes, it’s super convenient.  I will say, in fairness to my daughter, she had actually already had a job at her university.  She attends Loyola Marymount University in LA, and she got a job as an illustrator for their press.  She had already had that work experience which certainly gave her a leg up in getting the job.

Christine:  That’s excellent.

Dr. Jill:  Proud mom brag.  I’m allowed.

Christine:  Yeah, go her.  That’s awesome.  Well, I’ve already taken the liberty of introducing you to my listener already, so if it’s okay with you, I’d like to jump right into my questions for you.  Are you good with that?  

Dr. Jill:  Outstanding. Absolutely.

Christine:  Awesome.  So what brought you to where you are today, working part-time, writing books, serving college patients?

Dr. Jill:  My path has been a little bit unusual.  So, I always knew I wanted to be a doctor, from the time I was very little.  Neither of my parents were doctors.  My dad was a professor, and my mom was a mom, and a fabulous one.  They told me I could anything and be anything, and I wanted to be a doctor, and I did become one.  I started off with my own private practice, which I loved, but unfortunately, my mother developed Alzheimer’s and at the same time, our kids were very young, and it was just too much.  There’s only so many hours in the day, so I went to part-time, and then, a few years later, I’m like, no, it’s still too much running my own practice, even with another physician.  And so, I stopped my own practice, and went to work for someone else, where I could just walk in, be the doctor, walk out, and not have to hire and fire staff, and do all of that, and that was great.  Meanwhile, I ended up writing my first book, and I sort of naïvely thought as a doctor I could write a book, and the publisher would take it and go put in bookstores and it would sell, and I would keep being a doctor and that’s how it would go.  They said, no, that’s not how it works.  So, I ended up becoming a media person, and doing a lot of radio and some television, and speaking to larger groups and that was, you know, part of my career.  So, I stayed part-time, and I’m also that “Girl Scout Mom.”  So, I was the Girl Scout leader, and then in a national charity league, which was a mother/daughter service organization.  I loved being super involved.  Our daughters both danced.  I was the team photographer.  So as you can see, like many of us, I like doing a lot of different things, and I’m not the primary breadwinner.  My husband is.  He is also a physician.  In our family, it worked for me to stay part-time, and then, after getting into this book writing thing, and I’m realizing I had more books in me that I wanted to do.  I want to just be even more part-time, and as our kids went off to college, I’ve always been involved with their friends and their age group, so it was a really natural fit for me to work in a college setting.  And I live in Austin, and the University of Texas, I had worked there just you know helping out occasionally over the years for many years, and they needed me.  I wanted to be there, and so I’m very part-time there, but it’s wonderful ‘cause it works for both of us.

Christine:  That’s fantastic.

Dr. Jill:  Kind of a long answer, sorry.

Christine:  No, I love those answers.  More for us to get to know you.  

Dr. Jill:  There you go.

Christine:  It’s also, as you’re talking, I’m like, she’s so perfect for us to listen to right now.   And a total slacker in the mom department, that’s sarcasm.  So, I know you have at least one daughter heading back to campus in the fall?

Dr. Jill:  Two.  I have two.  One’s in grad school, and she’s in Saint Louis at Wash U, and then the younger one is a Loyola Marymount.

Christine:  Awesome.  So, with them going back to college, or I guess, the grad school, she’s there already, probably?  Right?  Is she there yet?

Dr. Jill:  Actually, no.  She’s remote also, unfortunately.

00:10:14

Christine:  Okay, so, this question works.  Okay.  Awesome.  So, as a doctor, wear your doctor hat more, and parent hat a little bit, what’s your biggest concern with your children heading back to campus, in our current pandemic?  And is there anything you’re doing in preparation for that?

Dr. Jill:  Well, it’s a little hard to sort out, because obviously I wear the different hats.

Christine:  Yes.

Dr. Jill:  But honestly, one of my concerns is just that COVID is going to be tying up the healthcare system so much, that I want to be sure that our girls are even more prepared than usual, to take care of all their non-COVID health issues.  Of course, I’m a text away for them, and that’s great, but particularly the younger one, out in LA, does not have a car and so I want to make extra sure that her college first aid kit is super well stocked, because if, you know, she’s got a cough, well, then I’m going to be worried about COVID.

Christine:  Right.  I know.

Dr. Jill:  But still, but if she has a cough from just having allergies --

Christine:  Yes.

Dr. Jill:  -- I want to make sure that she’s got more on hand and understands when she’s supposed to use what.  We have spent a little bit of time already this summer, talking about some of those different things, and you know, when is it appropriate to access the healthcare system and all of that.  Obviously, with COVID, everything is different and honestly, my biggest challenge has been finding them a new thermometer, because, you know, you can’t find thermometers.  They’re sold out.

Christine:  I somehow got some on Amazon.

Dr. Jill:  Excellent.

Christine:  I must have gotten really lucky.  

Dr. Jill:  Yes.

Christine:  I can’t find disinfecting wipes.

Dr. Jill:  Yes.  It’s a challenge.

Christine:  It is.

Dr. Jill:  I’ve always been a proponent of the digital oral thermometers, and that’s what I was looking for.  Now, they have all the no-touch infrared ones, and I am assuming that they are relatively accurate.  The things that have the roller on them, that it rolls across the forehead, those are not accurate.  

Christine:  Oh, good to know.

Dr. Jill:  The ear ones are mostly accurate.  I haven’t seen any great studies on the accuracy of the other ones, which is of course, what everyone is relying on, as we move forward with COVID.

Christine:  Yeah.  Yeah.

Dr. Jill:  There’s some different challenges this year, but I think the biggest one is going to be the ability to access the healthcare system when they need it, because the healthcare system is going to be tied up with COVID.

Christine:  That’s a really good point.  It’s interesting, because I was just reading, in my daughter’s school’s policy and procedure.  If you think you have COVID, because we started talking about this, you go to the health center, at her school, they’ll do contact tracing, and they’ll do a test for her.  And that’s her school, I know they’re all a little different.

Dr. Jill:  Right.

Christine:  But what we were talking about is that then she’ll move, like say she tests positive, she moves to an off campus --

Dr. Jill:  To a quarantine.

Christine:  -- and I said, you know, I think we should think about this.  What if that happens?  You’re not going to have much notice.  It’s kind of like you’re pregnant, and you need that bag, or at least the list.

Dr. Jill:  Right.  Exactly.

Christine:  ‘Cause you’re not going be able to go back to your dorm room --

Dr. Jill:  No.

Christine:  -- during this time.

Dr. Jill:  Right.  So, the one thing that’s a little different is that if they’re going to go -- I want to say, for the listeners, in general, most of the health centers are not going to say to go there.  They’re going to say you need to call first, and that’s an actual phone call, not just a text and getting an appointment online.

Christine:  Good point.

Dr. Jill:  Because they want to talk with you through the triage nurses, and make sure that you’re coming in the right entrance, and you know, all the schools are going to handle this a bit differently.  But almost all of them that I’m aware of, start with a phone call, which is not something our college kids are necessarily used to doing.

Christine:  No, not at all.  Yeah.

Dr. Jill:  Second thing is, when you go, whether you’re going to a hospital or whether you’re going to a clinic, be sure you take your electronic chargers with you.  Because once you go into isolation, that’s going to be your connection, and you’re going to need your charger.  That’s something that ordinarily, kids don’t always pack those in their backpack automatically.  They’ll have their phone; they always have their phone, but you need the charger, too, and not just the portable.

Christine:  Yeah.  We need a list.  Let’s do a list.

Dr. Jill:  It’s a good idea.  We should do a list.  I agree.

Christine:  We’re going to do a list, listener.  We’re going to have that available, because I think you’re going to have your own special list, but I think having a starting point would be really good.  We’ll talk offline, if that’s okay, Dr. Jill.

Dr. Jill:  Sure.  

Christine:  Excellent.

Dr. Jill:  Excellent.  Absolutely.

Christine:  Okay.  Here’s my next question, those of us who already have our children in college, should have already thought of this, but sometimes we don’t.  Are there any medical forms or processes, that we as college parents, should have already filled out, that maybe we didn’t think about.  I know there’s some things with age, like sometimes they don’t even have to tell us as parents, things that happen.  Are there any pitfalls that you see in college patients with the process?

Dr. Jill:  Sure.  So let me start by saying, again, I have a graduate student, and a rising senior in college.  I have never filled out forms in advance, so this is new for all of us, and with COVID, I actually think it is a good idea to go ahead and fill out, there are a couple of forms, each school will probably have their own HIPAA release.  HIPAA is the privacy act forms.

Christine:  Yes.

Dr. Jill:  And so there’s a release of information and you can check on your child’s -- not child, your young adult.

Christine:  I say child.  Aren’t they always our children?

Dr. Jill:  Yeah, they’re still our babies.  They’re babies.  Anyway, you can check on their university’s website, and see if they have a specific form, or you can go to -- I know there’s several online paraform organizations, like one is called Mama Bear forms, and I’m not speaking for them; I have not used them myself, but I know I’m aware of many people who have.

Christine:  Got it.

Dr. Jill:  I understand it’s about $50 to get two forms, and one is the release and the other is the medical power of attorney, and that would be important if your child, who is 21, or whatever, anything over 18, if they were unconscious in a hospital, unable to make decisions on their own.  This would really smooth things out paperwork wise, if you had this already filled out and notarized ahead of time.

Christine:  Got it.

Dr. Jill:  And so, this year, I probably will go ahead and do those forms for both of our daughters. 

Christine:  That’s really good information.  Thank you.

Dr. Jill:  Yeah.  The other thing I really want to say is that as a provider at a university, honestly, it’s really not to me, it’s our nursing staff, and our phone triage people, get inundated with angry parents saying, I want to know is my kid there, being seen.  I need all the parents to know, we can’t even say that they’re there, or they’re not there, not without your child’s permission. 

Christine:  Yes.

Dr. Jill:  So our hands are tied, so please don’t be upset with the health staff, they’re not trying to be difficult.  Honestly, we’re trying to do the best we can for your kid.  For something like, something we see all the time, like say your kid is really sick there, so they’ve got food poisoning, or they’ve got mono, and they’re just really down and out, and we need to kind of have them there for a bit, maybe to give them some IV fluids.  The parents know that they were on their way there, and it’s just like, text your kid.  They can text back.  We don’t take away their phones.  They can answer and most providers are going to be willing to talk to a parent, but we can’t call the parent, if the student is talking to the parent, and the student, right there in front of you says, “Would you talk to my parent,” and hands us the phone, then we can say something.  Every school’s got their nuances of that, but just know that the healthcare providers are really -- we care about the kids a ton.  I don’t know anyone that works where I work that doesn’t just honestly love college students.  We’re all there, there’s not a lot of money in college health.  We’re there because we love the environment; we love the enthusiasm; we love young people, and we want to help them.  Please know that your kids are in good hands.

Christine:  Yes.  That makes me feel good as a parent.

Dr. Jill:  We give a lot of hugs.

Christine:  Well now, social distanced, right?

Dr. Jill:  Yeah.  Yeah.  I guess, now we don’t.  No, we’re not hugging.  Virtual hugs.

Christine:  Yeah, exactly.  I have a new favorite GIF and it’s the little raccoon that does this.

Dr. Jill:  Yes.  Exactly.

Christine:  I’ll have to put it in my show notes.  It’s very important.

Dr. Jill:  Absolutely.

Christine:  So, Dr. Jill has a book that she’s written, and there is a theme -- I’m going to talk about it a little more in a bit, but there’s a familiar theme in your book, I noticed, about washing your hands --

Dr. Jill:  Pre-COVID.

Christine:  Yes.  This is pre-COVID.  Washing your hands to avoid illnesses, and while it isn’t COVID-specific, I see the knowledge dropped already within your book, on how to minimize your chances of picking up the common cold and such, which is great.  Why does it take us humans a pandemic to notice these things, not that I expect you to have an answer.  But that isn’t my question.  My question is related to your book.

Dr. Jill:  Okay.

Christine:  Do you have a favorite chapter of your book, and if so, why is it your favorite chapter?

Dr. Jill:  Okay, so every author out there knows that that’s like asking like, do I have a favorite child, so hard to pick.  But I will say a little bit in deference to our younger child, who’s the illustrator, probably if I had to only pick one topic in this, it would be the insomnia chapter, because I was talking with her about doing illustrations and figuring out which chapters we could use pictures for, and I’m like, oh, this is great, we can have all the solutions to insomnia in this picture.  That’s my favorite chapter.  One, because there’s a ton of things that kids can do that they don’t realize, kids and adults, in and out of school, ways that you can - - insomnia, before you ever get to the point of being so frustrated that you haven’t slept in a week, and in college student’s case, that they’re flunking a class, then coming in.  So this gives them a lot of things that they can do on their own, and tells them again, when it’s come in and let us help.

Christine:  Excellent.  I love that.

Dr. Jill:  Thanks.

Christine:  Now, I’ve got to go back and look at that chapter.  So this week, I actually received a listener question for you.  

Dr. Jill:  Great.

Christine:  Thanks to Deb, from Connecticut, for the following question.  I’m going to read it for you.  “Hi Christine, I think parents need to talk to their kids about what happens if they do get COVID when returning to college.  If they’re close enough, do they come home?  Is there a COVID dorm?” Well, we’ve already talked about that, that the college offers, and would they be expected to stay there.  Think about the options before they go and discuss.  Emotions will be running high --

Dr. Jill:  For sure.

Christine:  -- if they do come down with it.  Interestingly enough, we covered a lot of it, but yeah.  Any additional thoughts on that?

Dr. Jill:  I think setting expectations upfront is really good and helpful, and yes, if I get that phone call that one of our girls has COVID, is my instinct going to be to jump on a plane, ‘cause my kids are a thousand miles away in different directions, you know, is that going to be my instinct?  Yes, that’s going to be my instinct.  Am I going to do it?  I hope not.  One thing we really need to remember is that although COVID is scary for a lot of reasons, still the vast majority of disease is mild, and hopefully, if and when our kids get it, they will fall under that category of mild disease.  They’re going to be uncomfortable.  They’re going to be achy.  They might be miserable, but it may not be medically scary, and I don’t think we need to immediately go somewhere.  

Christine:  Got it.

Dr. Jill:  The great thing is that now we’ve got our smartphones, we can see them, we can Facetime.  We can talk with them.  I don’t think we need to be just running -- we’re not going to swoop them in and take them to a hotel.  I’m sure that when you check into a hotel, they’re going to say, “Do you have COVID?”

Christine:  Right.

Dr. Jill:  I don’t think ethically we can take someone with COVID to a hotel.  Could you do an AirBNB?  Yeah, I think that honestly, I think that’s a reasonable thing.  I think if my kid were in a situation where I felt I needed to be there, that’s probably what I would do, is I would try and rent a home, rather then -- because I don’t think ethically, you can take them to a hotel, with the shared ventilation systems and all of that.

Christine:  Right.

Dr. Jill:  Just talking with them ahead of time, to say, hey, you know, if you get this, the first thing that’s going to happen is you’re going to be isolated, we want to make sure that you have your phone charger and your phone, and your iPad and your computer, and the chargers for those with you.  You’ll have to figure out how the campuses are going to be delivering food to them.  How are they going to check their symptoms and move forward? All of this changes, of course, if your child actually were to be immune-compromised.  We know if our kids have special risk factors that would change our immediate concern.  But if they are the average overall healthy kid, and asthma does not seem to be making COVID worse, oddly enough.  We have not really seen a big thing like that, so if they’re a standard, overall healthy kid, I don’t think we need to be swooping in immediately.

00:23:06

Christine:  That’s good advice.  I like your honesty, too.  I hopefully will not swoop in.  I appreciate that.

Dr. Jill:  You know?

Christine:  I know.  We’re moms.

Dr. Jill:  And it depends on the kids.  You’ve the introverted kid who’s doing just fine in social isolation, and you’ve got an extroverted kid, who is really missing that.  There’s so many factors that weigh into this, but there you go.

Christine:  There really is.  All right.  So, if you could have all of the college parents in the whole world in one huge room, obviously, social distanced.  This is a big hypothetical.  And you could give them one piece of advice, what would it be?

Dr. Jill:  This is a tough one.  I’ve actually been thinking about this since you told me you were going to ask me this, because I’ve got 30,001 things I want to say.

Christine:  Right.

Dr. Jill:  But I think one thing for all of us to remember, and this is directed at me, too, is that:  one, young people are resilient, we’ve already seen that; two, this is sort of - - but not really, not every day of college is fantastic.  If I say think about college right now.  If someone tells me that, I’m going to think about Aggie football games and having so much fun, and the super awesome times that I had in college.  I am not going to think about the night that I sat in my dorm room sobbing hysterically when my first boyfriend broke up with me, or the day that I bombed the test and I thought, oh, my God, I’ll never get into medical school, or the, or the, or the, or the.  We all have those other things.

Christine:  Yeah.

Dr. Jill:  The problem is, is our kids grew up, and especially now, in this high pressure, what college are you going to, and all of that that we do to our kids.  We didn’t grow up saying oh, yeah, I had bad days in college.  They grew up hearing us or going with us to football games, and having these fabulous times.  One of the things that I think we forget to tell our kids, is that it’s not all great, and that’s okay.  Because the problem is --

Christine:  So true.

Dr. Jill:  -- they have this image of everything in college is going to be fantastic.  If they weren’t popular in high school, they’re going to go there and suddenly be popular, or if maybe they were super popular in high school, they get to college and they’re not that big fish in a little pond.  But there’s all kinds of disappointments that happen.  A lot of which happen in that first semester away from home, and it’s twice as hard because they think, oh, my God, these are the best years of my life.  That’s what I’ve been told, over and over.  So my one piece of advice is to say, yeah, college, I would say at that point in my life, that was the best time of my life, but it’s not all great, and each year gets better, and each year gets better after college, too.  We have to have more perspective.

Christine:  I love that.

Dr. Jill:  Thank you.

Christine:  It’s such great advice.  It really is.  I say this often, is that I think one of the detriments is that we aren’t taught early on in life that life isn’t supposed to be perfect.

Dr. Jill:  Right.

Christine:  So everyday, things aren’t perfect, so we lose control, and if you just realize, okay, this is the not-perfect thing right now, I mean, it’s not always that easy to say that, but it helps.

Dr. Jill:  And COVID sure is making things not perfect. 

Christine:  Wow, we are really being tested this year.

Dr. Jill:  We’re mastering that one.  Got that one down.  Nailed it.

Christine:  We do.  So what’s the best way for my listener to pick up your amazing book?

Dr. Jill:  Well, because of COVID, I’m going to say the best thing you could do is to support your local bookstores, because I love small independent bookstores.  So, one, start there.  Order it in advance, and then they’ll either deliver to you by mail, or you can drive up and pick it up.  So I would say that number one.  Number two, of course, is on Amazon, and actually, it is also on Walmart and Target online.  If you’re on there shopping for your other dorm stuff, just add it to your cart.

Christine:  Go you, Dr. Jill.  You’re everywhere!  I love it.

Dr. Jill:  I’m in Walmart.  Whoo Hoo!

Christine:  That’s awesome.  

Dr. Jill:  Thank you.

Christine:  So before you go -- it’s so funny, I could talk to you for four hours, I can already tell.  

Dr. Jill:  For sure.

Christine:  So I have four fun questions that I ask every guest of mine.

Dr. Jill:  Okay.

Christine:  Number one, very important, waffles or pancakes?

Dr. Jill:  And I’ve just got to tell you, I swing both ways.  Kind of the --

Christine:  Excellent answer.

Dr. Jill:  -- I gave a lot of thought to this.  So, if it’s a Mickey waffle maker, Mickey waffles, every time.  If there’s link sausage, then pancakes, ‘cause I want to make it pigs-in-a-blanket.  So those are my determining factors.  Anything with fruit and whipped cream, either one is equal.

Christine:  Syrup or no syrup?

Dr. Jill:  Whipped cream over syrup.  Less calories, tastes better, feels like a treat.

Christine:  It does.  That’s awesome.  What is one item you can’t live without and why?

Dr. Jill:  Okay, so my knee jerk reaction to that question is, of course, my phone, because that’s how I talk to my family and how I communicate, but you know what?  I can also do that through my iPad or my laptop, so if it was one thing within that, it would be iMessage.  But I decided to scrap all of that, and the one non-computer thing that I can’t live without is my blender, because I make smoothies every day, and that’s the easiest way for me to keep healthy.

Christine:  Now, I want to ask you twelve more questions.  Is it like protein powder smoothie, or fruits, or --

Dr. Jill:  No, nope.  

Christine:  -- what do you put in your --

Dr. Jill:  Frozen strawberries, two handfuls, I put a lot in there.  Frozen strawberries, banana, that does not have to be frozen, and then Greek yogurt, vanilla yogurt.  That’s it.

Christine:  Oh, it sounds perfect.

Dr. Jill:  Then to clean it, here’s the really important part.  I learned this a long time ago.  

Christine:  Yeah?

Dr. Jill:  You dump it out, you pour water back in the blender, put one drop of your detergent in there, put it back on there, turn it on, it cleans it, rinse it out, you’re done.

Christine:  Oh, yes.

Dr. Jill:  It’s life changing for me. 

Christine:  Pro tip from Dr. Jill today.

Dr. Jill:  There you go.  Clean your blenders, that’s ‘cause that’s the one thing people hate about making smoothies.

Christine:  It is.

Dr. Jill:  So I learned that.  So there you go.

Christine:  That’s excellent.  Oh, wow.  All-time favorite movie and any particular reason?

Dr. Jill:  Okay, so tough one.  If I could only pick one, then I would have to say “Shrek” and that’s because “Shrek” was the first movie we really enjoyed as a family, when the girls were little and driving back and forth, we do these long road trips that take 17 hours, and so we watched “Shrek” a lot, and I love the adult humor.  I loved the animation, didn’t know our youngest was going to become an animator, but it kind of ties it all together for our family.

Christine:  Excellent.  I love that.  So, you have an hour of alone time, no one’s going to bother you.  What’s your go-to thing to do?

Dr. Jill:  Take the dog for a walk or jump on my Peloton. 

Christine:  Really?

Dr. Jill:  Yup.

Christine:  Wow.

Dr. Jill:  Exercise for sure.

Christine:  What kind of dog?

Dr. Jill:  We have a Portuguese Water dog.

Christine:  I can’t even picture that.

Dr. Jill:  It’s what Obama had.

Christine:  Oh, okay.  Thank you.

Dr. Jill:  She’s black and white.  

Christine:  Yeah.

Dr. Jill:  They’re hypoallergenic, and they’re friendly.

Christine:  Excellent.  Excellent.  All right.  So, Dr. Jill, I am beyond thrilled that you took the time to chat with me today.  I’m even more thankful as a parent, that I have your book, and that soon my daughter’s going to have her own copy of your book.  So, my amazing listener, you know I don’t recommend things often in this manner, like I really don’t.  So, this one is a total no-brainer.  Look for Dr. Jill’s book in your local bookstore, if you’re able, or use the non-affiliate link in my show notes.  Is there anything else you would like to share with my amazing listener, Dr. Jill?

Dr. Jill:  Just that, guys, we’re in this together and it’s going to be okay.  College does not look like what any of us want it to look like, right now.  But you know what?  They’re going to have a super unique experience, and they’re going to be telling their kids about that -- college in the pandemic and how we all wore masks, and we’ve learned we can really be flexible and do things differently, and they’re going to find more and more fun things to do outside.  They’re going to have more frisbee golf aficionados, and all kinds of different activities.  So it’s going to be okay.  I’m there with you.  I’m concerned, too, but it’s going to be okay.

Christine:  Wonderful.  Thank you for that reassurance.  I love it.  Thanks again, for being here, and for the incredible resources that you have gifted the world with, and a final thanks for sharing your knowledge with the college parents in my audience.  Thanks for being here today.

Dr. Jill:  Thank you so much.

[Music]

00:31:18

Christine:  I hope you enjoyed this interview, my listener. Dr. Jill’s website is JillGrimesMD.com. I’ll have a link to her website and her socials in the show notes!  When we finished recording, I spoke to Dr. Jill for a few minutes.  We came up with a quick list of items to have prepped in a COVID Emergency Bag.  It isn’t all inclusive but will get you started. She also mentioned that in her first aid kit she’s now recommending that a dorm room, or suite of college students, have access to a pulse oximeter. Her reasoning is that if your child has a cough and fever you would contact the college’s health center but if your child also has access to a pulse oximeter and their oxygen levels are low, then that is right to the hospital worthy.

00:32:07

One final thing we discussed is she recommends a mask that has a pocket for a coffee filter. She has a blog post with all the details on the why.  It totally makes sense and the link, of course, is in my show notes. 

[Music]

00:32:21

The questions I have for you in this episode are: have you picked up Jill’s book yet, or are you on the way to order it?  And the second question is, what question do you wish I had asked Jill?

[Music]

00:32:26

It is time for a quick tip, advice, or thoughts from a listener.

Jo:  I’m here to talk about Instagram, which I have a slight love/hate relationship with, as I’m sure many other people do, as well.  I basically think there is six stages that you go through.  You set up an Instagram account and follow anyone and everyone, in the hopes they’ll follow you back.  Stage two, you realize you can’t possibly go through the posts from 2,000 people, you seem to be following sites you have no interest in, like your neighbor’s cat, who seems to have their own feed.  I mean, what’s that all about anyway?  Any way, you unfollow three-quarters of the people you originally signed up to follow, in order to get your numbers more manageable.  Stage three, is the very next day, when you realize that those three-quarters of people have actually unfollowed you as well.  Stage four, you realize that this is actually good, that now, you only follow people you like and are interested in, and the people who follow you are engaged and seem to like what you do.  Five, you realize when Instagram goes down that perhaps you’re a little bit too tied to it, as you alternate between sulking, rage and full-on panic.  Six, you realize that some of your friends on Instagram are actually more awesome, insightful, and supportive than your real friends, and wonder, if in fact, you can stop following your non-Instagram friends, figuratively speaking, and just live on Instagram.  Okay, so that may be a little bit extreme, but my advice is this: your engagement is what matters.  Interaction with like-minded amazing women living their best life alongside yours, not the number of followers you have.  This isn’t news to many of you, but to those of you who are new to Instagram, or feeling slightly overwhelmed, keep it manageable.  You don’t have to post every day.  Post when you have something to say.  If it gets too much, take a break, come back again.  It’s meant to be fun, not a chore, and don’t go so far down the Instagram rabbit hole that you forget to be present with the people around you.  Anyway, I must go now.  I need to catch up with what Mauggie, my neighbor’s cat’s been up to.

00:34:32

Special Thanks to Jo Davies, for her humorous thoughts on Instagram.  Well my empty nest CEO of Your Life friend, if you enjoyed this episode, I invite you to take a moment to subscribe to this podcast. It is free after all, and it is the best way to be notified of a new podcast episode.  As always, I provide content to make you think. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life.  I opened a box today and it told me that you are amazing!  See ya!

[Bloopers]

[Still listening?]

[End]

102: How to Help Your College Student Prepare for A Different Campus Part 1 of 2

102: How to Help Your College Student Prepare for A Different Campus Part 1 of 2

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend, 

Fall 2020: some of our children's schools have plans for an on-campus return, and the campus won't be the campus our child(ren) left or visited. Life is different, and campus life will be no exception.

While our daughter is scheduled to head back to college in less than six weeks, that may or may not come to fruition. 2020 has a sneaky way of showing us that plans are rarely concrete. In the meantime, the best thing our family can do is prep for a return to campus with the knowledge we have now. In this episode, I share some things we are doing to prepare for an on-campus semester. 

Coach Christine,

Your Empty Nest Coach

"If your child doesn't already have a thermometer and a first aid kit - it is time to round one up for the fall!"

Take a listen or read the full transcript at the bottom of this post.

⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don't miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓

New podcast episode 🎙 How Coach Christine's family is preparing for her daughter's fall return to campus - tips and advice! 💚 #CollegeParent #EmptyNest #NotSoEmptyNest #CollegeLife #CollegeStudent #FallSemester #OnCampus

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What You Will Learn in this Episode 

  • The Ways That Coach Christine And Her Family Are Preparing for a Fall On-Campus Semester
  • To Consider Talking About the What-Ifs

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Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. If your child is heading back to campus soon, what are your biggest concerns? 
  2. Do you have a medical question about your child being on campus in the fall? 

💚  Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now:   https://www.speakpipe.com/EmptyNestCoach  or call/text to 920-LIFEWIN (920-543-3946).

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FULL TRANSCRIPT: 

Episode 102 of the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast

00:00:00

Christine:  You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 102: How To Help Your College Student Prepare for a Different Campus. I work with mothers of high school students and beyond, who are in the trenches with sad and possibly, overwhelming thoughts about what their life will look like when their baby heads to college and begins to leave the nest. My clients’ big question is what will I do with my time? Is this you? I’ve been there, and I get it.  Empowering you to write the next jaw-dropping, amazing chapter in your life is my passion. I am energized by leading you in the process of exploration and am thrilled when you unlock the power that lies within you. This podcast is my gift to you.

00:00:46

Hello, my empty nest friend and CEO of Your Life! As of this recording, my daughter is scheduled to head back to campus in less than six weeks. Now, while that is the plan now, this episode very well may be of no use to anyone if the trend continues on the trajectory that the epidemic is on now. Whew! If our daughter is home for the fall, there isn’t much we can do to prepare for now, but if she heads to campus as planned, there are things we can prepare for, so I do that but am continually checking the drama in my mind around the idea of her going back. Wow, there are so many things outside of our fence right now.

00:01:26

I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I thought I would share some things we are doing to prepare her for a campus-life that will look different from the campus she left in March. Before we dive in, a quick reminder, that if you find yourself talking back to me at any part of this episode; if something resonates with you; or if you have a quick tip to share with my audience, please take the opportunity to leave me audio feedback either through SpeakPipe or my Google Voice number. You’ll find the information to do this in the description of this episode: on Apple Podcasts click “Details”; on Spotify click “See More”; on Overcast press the I for information button. Get the idea? Of course I always have full show notes with links to anything I discuss in the episode, and a full episode transcription on my website. Those reside at YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P (for podcast) and 102 (for this episode’s number). (YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P102). I can’t wait to hear from you!

00:02:24

Thanks! Thank you! It’s time to thank our sponsor. This episode is sponsored by my membership community, The GPS Support Flock; Your Flight to Success in the Empty Nest. If you are ready to find the GPS of your life, sign up to receive an immediate and free download of my PDF, "How to Find Yourself in the Empty Nest," our GPS Life Principles document. You will also have the opportunity to learn about our community. See the link in this episode's show notes or fly on over to my website, YourEmptyNestCoach.com. Click the GPS Support Flock button.  See you soon!  

00:03:08

What am I doing to prepare for my daughter’s return to campus?  Here’s nine things: 

  1. Stocking Up. Where I live, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are just now entering the shelves in stores, and the disinfecting wipes, if one or two are on the shelf, I run. Well, I don’t run, but I want to run. I’ve been picking up my one allotted disinfecting wipes on the rare occasion that I see them, and have started a small collection of tubs and hand sanitizer for the fall. I say a small collection, this is not a surplus in my garage. I have a hunch that in six weeks, with everyone else returning to school, these items may be even harder to find than they are now.  We are not stockpiling, like I said. We are purchasing enough that she’ll be okay if she can’t get to a store during her time on campus, and if someone in the dorm is diagnosed with COVID-19, this would allow me to feel like she isn’t high and dry on supplies.  That’s number one, stocking up appropriately.

  1. Public Mask-Wearing Practice.  Now, some of you are going to think this is ridiculous because you’ve been out and about wearing masks, but some people have not left their house often, and if your child has not been out and about yet, it is time for them to get used to being outside of the house with a mask on.  It’s important. Getting used to this, along with social distancing is also important. Most, if not all colleges, are going to require masks on campus and in classrooms. It makes sense. Make or purchase your masks now and get used to wearing them, properly. Some individuals with sensory issues or other things may need some adjustment time to get used to it. I know that sounds odd for those who don’t have these concerns but I’m a firm believer in limiting the amount of anxiety our children have, so getting familiar with wearing them will be helpful. Hopefully they know themselves well enough that you can start a conversation with them and they’ll have their own ways to prepare for the fall. Listen to them, and encourage them to seek supplies and helpful resources now.

00:05:17

I don’t know about where your child goes, but my daughter’s college had already implemented that a mask was required for those who are sick in prior years, so she already has it in her head that it is a courtesy to others to wear a mask when she isn’t feeling well, but has to go to a class. This was pre-pandemic, so I’m guessing moving forward she would not go to class, and it would be a no-brainer. But I do know that even among my own friends, there are varying degrees of comfort in being in the outside world with masks.

  1. Mask Maintenance.  I feel like this is going to be the thing that everyone overlooks, so I’m trying to get into our daughter’s head ahead of time.  Yes, your child’s college may be giving two masks per student, or something like that.  But are they on track to know how to properly wash them, because they should be washed after every use - every use.  Yes, every use, and we know how great our children are at keeping up with their laundry. Yes, this is why I think this is going to be the overlooked and troublesome part. The CDC.gov site has all kinds of resources, but high-level cloth masks should be washed after every use and dried completely, high on the dryer or out in the sun, which is kind of tough to do in the dorm. When we remove our masks, we need to be sure that we use the ear loops or ties to remove it and fold the outside corners together. Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth when removing the mask and wash your hands immediately after removing the mask. Which brings me to ...

  1. Proper Hand Washing. My daughter’s college sent us videos that we had to check off and say that, yup, we watched these before we headed back to pick up her items a few weeks ago. Sure, we were on the honor system but it is funny, after we both watched them, we discussed how we were never really shown as children how to properly wash our hands. Sure, we were told to sing the Happy Birthday song twice, but what to do during that time?  That’s really helpful to know, and there are great videos out there for this. 

  1. Temperature Taking. If your child doesn’t already have a thermometer and a first aid kit, it is time to round one up for the fall. If the college they are attending doesn’t have them track their temperature, encourage them to track it for a few days at home, for them to become comfortable with their normal body temperature. It may surprise them. I have a link to one of my Pinterest boards that has some DIY first aid kits for college dorms in it, or just search on Pinterest to find it.  So many options.

00:08:06

 

  1. Social Life. Let’s talk about social life.  Our children need to understand that the social events that they are heading to college for may not be there at all. How are they going to do with that? How are they going to deal with it? Ask them to think about it now. Ask them how they will handle it. No matter the college policies, also, look, it’s college, there will be parties. Will your child go to them? Will they not? What level are they comfortable with, and so on. With the other tips that I’m sharing here, in mind, do some coaching on the topic. Truly, I mean coaching, have a discussion.  Listen and coach them through different things that could happen. In a Forbes article titled College Students Want to Party: How they Keep Their Social Life This Fall, the author, Stephen M. Gavazzi (I hope I’m saying that correctly) offers a new motto for our students to consider, “study smart, party smart.” It might be worth sharing.

00:09:09

  1. Best Ways to Keep in Touch? If you are going to be a bit more anxious than normal and your child is not the best at communicating with you, come up now with a protocol for communication that works for both of you. Maybe you discuss you send a particular emoji to them, that means, hey, I’m thinking of you, I’m getting a little worried, can you just give me a quick status.  Maybe you’ve already discussed which emojis they can send you back, that let’s you know, hey, yeah, thumbs up, I’m all good, Mom, busy. Have that conversation now. College normally, is a lot for students, this is before COVID-19. Sure, they might be more homesick than usual, and reach out more, or they may be dealing with a lot more and a conversation with their mother may not help at the moment.  Not something to take personally, but have this conversation now.

00:09:59

 

  1. Talk about the what-ifs at a high-level and when the timing is right talk about what-if. What if their fall looks totally different?  What if the fall semester goes online?  What if you get roomed in a hotel down the street?  What if there are no social activities? Are there any of these things that would make them stay home, even if their college is onsite? Does it impact any scholarships they may have, if they decide not to go to campus? Are there circumstances that would have them not attend at all, even online?  Would they consider a gap year? I’m going to put a link to an episode of “Collegehood Advice” where Katy Oliveira talks about a gap year during COVID-19 with a guest. There is also an article on “Grown and Flown” titled Surprising Ways College Will Look Different This Fall. It is really worth a read, as it is likely you won’t know all of the ways your child’s college will look different until there isn’t enough time to process it out.  Two examples listed in the article: some schools may assign specific showers, sinks or toilets to students, and scheduling may be needed for showering. Some colleges have rented hotels and will be housing students in those to allow more space. So, yeah, be ready for anything. And a quick shout-out to Dale Troy who shared the article from “Grown and Flown” in her “College Parent Support Community” on Facebook.

00:11:31

  1. Nitty gritty medical concerns.  This one I’m going to leave ‘til next week, since I’m not a doctor, and because I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of her new book, I’m going to have Dr. Jill Grimes with me next Friday.  We’re going to discuss specific medical needs and concerns related to COVID-19 on campus. I’m looking forward to chatting with her and to bringing our chat to you! So look for part two of this series, next week!

As always, if you have your own tips, your thoughts or concerns about your child heading back to college you may join our GPS Support Flock and share there, or the Green Popsicle Stick Facebook group.  We can’t wait to chat with you.

[Music]

00:12:15

The questions I have for you in this episode are: if your child is heading back to campus soon, what are your biggest concerns? Do you have a medical question about your child being on campus in the fall?

00:12:34

Christine? Christine? Christine? Where are you? Do you know about the Stay Home Sisters?  Rebecca Moses, artist, designer and author, has been painting pictures of women who are staying home due to physical distancing and she shares their stories.  Her illustration of me was included recently and I will have a link to her Instragram profile in my show notes.  She’s up to, I believe, 270 as of this recording.  That’s pretty amazing!  Thanks, Rebecca, for all that you do for us.

[Music]

00:13:15

It is time for a Quick Tip, advice or thoughts from a listener. Today’s Quick Tip is from Katherine, the 5 Kilo Traveller.

Katherine:  In my last tip, I talked about traveling light by wearing your heavy and bulky gear on your flight, and I also briefly mentioned merino wool, or Smartwool. Now, in New Zealand, we have 27 million sheep. That’s six sheep for every New Zealander. I am a huge advocate for the New Zealand wool industry, but I am not sponsored by them. Today’s tip is all about merino wool and Smartwool. Merino comes from a sheep and it has amazing natural qualities. Merino moderates your temperature. It keeps you warm in cold weather, but also keeps you comfortable in hot weather. I’ve worn a long-sleeved merino on a boat in a New Zealand summer to protect against harmful UV rays of the sun, and I’ve not got overheated. Again, I’ve worn multiple merino layers in New York, in winter, and have been comfortable even when I’ve headed into the well-heated shops. That is once I’ve removed my puffer jacket, my coat, my hat, my gloves, my scarf, and every other layer. Merino doesn’t retain smells. I think on the packaging they say it repels odor. This whole odor repelling quality means that you can wear it for several days without it needing laundering. I’ve tested this, but there is a trick to it. You need to hang it up and air it, after wearing. This can be as simple as draping it over a chair.  If you decide to dump it in a pile of clothes, it will still be smelly the next morning, believe me. I’ve tested this. A company I buy merino clothing from, also said that when you have a shower, hang your merino gear in the bathroom.  The steam helps to freshen up the fabric. merino is light and compact. If you compare a cotton sweater or a fleece with a merino sweater, the merino one will be lighter and smaller. Merino is also quick drying. Generally my merino clothing dries overnight. I wash merino by hand or I use a delicates bag if it’s going in the washing machine.  I wear merino from top to toe, literally head scarf, neck, back, tops, pants, socks, and even underwear.  There you have it, my tip for today.  Merino wool or Smartwool is my absolute essential clothing fabric for travelling light.  Happy light travels!

00:15:46

Well my empty nest CEO of Your Life friend, if you enjoyed this episode, I invite you to take a moment to subscribe to this podcast. It is free after all, and subscribing is the best way to be notified right away when I have a new episode. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. Psst, my friend... you are amazing!  See ya!

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[Bloopers / Still Listening]

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99: Anxiety Around My Child Going Back To School

99: Anxiety Around My Child Going Back To School

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend, 

I know it is June, but with colleges beginning to announce their 2020 fall plans, I've heard parent concerns in all areas:

  • I hope they aren't online only!
  • I'm worried about them going back!
  • I'm concerned about it all!

Let's chat a bit about that today, and try an activity. 

Sample

Activity worksheet sample: available to print in the GPS Support Flock.

Coach Christine,

Your Empty Nest Coach

"You have the choice to resist a situation or to process through feelings and move on. BUT, until you know what is ahead, enjoy where you are now."

Take a listen or read the full transcript at the bottom of this post.

⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓, so you don't miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓

Have anxiety about the fall semester for your child? Coach Christine has an activity for you! 💚 #listeningto #midlifemom #emptynestmom #emptynest #MomHelp #MomPodcaster #CollegeParent

Click to Tweet

This Episode is Brought To You By

What You Will Learn in this Episode 

  • A New Activity To Try And To Consider For Your CEO Toolbox
  • To Use Presence As A Reset
  • To Work On Processing Through Your Emotions

Quick Tip Submissions

Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. Are you able to make fall plans for your family members as of yet?
  2. How are your thoughts about fall plans that may exist?

💚  Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now:   https://www.speakpipe.com/EmptyNestCoach  or call/text to 920-LIFEWIN (920-543-3946).

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FULL TRANSCRIPT: 

Episode 99 of the Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast

00:00:00

Christine:  You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 99: Anxiety Around My Child Going Back to School. I work with mothers of high school students and beyond, who are in the trenches with sad and possibly, overwhelming thoughts about what their life will look like when their baby heads to college and begins to leave the nest.  My clients’ big question is what will I do with my time?  Is this you?  I’ve been there, and I get it.  Empowering you to write the next jaw-dropping, amazing chapter in your life is my passion.  I am energized by leading you in the process of exploration and am thrilled when you unlock the power that lies within you.  This podcast is my gift to you.

00:00:49

Hello, my empty nest friend and CEO of Your Life! I hope that you are able to gift yourself with time to work on finding your future self, work on clearing up your thoughts in your days, process through emotions and do the work to uncover your future self. You are so worth it. A quick reminder, that if you find yourself talking back to me at any part of this episode;  if something resonates with you; or if you have a quick tip to share with my audience, please take the opportunity to leave me audio feedback either through SpeakPipe or my Google Voice number. You’ll find the information to do this in the description of this episode: on Apple Podcasts click “Details”; on Spotify click “See More”; on Overcast press the I for information button. Get the idea? Of course I always have full show notes with links to anything I discuss in the episode, and a full episode transcription on my website. Those reside at YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P (for podcast) and 99 (for this episode’s number). (YourEmptyNestCoach.com/P99) I can’t wait to hear from you!

00:01:58

Thanks!  Thank you!  It’s time to thank our sponsor.  This episode is sponsored by my membership community, The GPS Support Flock; Your Flight to Success in the Empty Nest.  If you are ready to find the GPS of your life, sign up to receive an immediate and free download of my PDF, "How to Find Yourself in the Empty Nest," our GPS Life Principles document.  You will also have the opportunity to learn about our community.  See the link in this episode's show notes or fly on over to my website, YourEmptyNestCoach.com.  Click the GPS Support Flock button.  See you soon!   

00:02:46

As I record this, it’s mid-June 2020, some of our children know what their school has planned for them in the fall, some of our children do not. Some schools will be in session, in-person. Some schools will not: elementary, high school, or college. The anxiety around what could happen is real and if left unchecked, could add more stress to you and your household than you already have. In this episode, we are going to assume that your thought deliveries are out of control when you think about your child going back to school.

00:03:19

A couple of things to keep in mind is to please remember that no matter what is announced right now, more than likely your child’s school is still working out thousands of details to make it all happen, whatever the plan is. So if you only get an email with some dates, and a line that says “more details coming soon,” understand that in most cases, the details aren’t known yet, but you’ll know eventually. Also remember that even though it was announced (if it was), things can change. 2020 is the year of pivot, after all, isn’t it? so don’t be surprised if things change yet again.

00:03:57

Now for you, my friend, this is a perfect opportunity to work on training your Protector, on using tools in your CEO toolbox and to work on presence. I cover these in two series on my podcast and you’ll find the links to both in my show notes.  I could just leave it there and end the episode but, how about I give you a new activity to do, that if it works for you, you can add to your toolbox? I want you to discover your main thoughts about your child returning to school and to dig deep on whether or not they are true, and I want you to consciously consider if the thoughts you are having are worth having in this present moment.

00:04:40

GPS Flock Members, I’ll have a PDF for you in our space, if you would like to print it out. If you aren’t a flock member, you may use any piece of paper. At the top of the paper, I want you to write “Back to School.” Then draw two lines to section the paper into quarters. For each quarter I want you to write in the center, at the top of that box, an emotion that you are feeling. Do three of these and in the bottom left corner box I’d like you to write “Peaceful” at the top of that box, no matter what. I’m challenging you here, and I’d like you to write it down even though you may not feel that way.

00:05:16

For each box, I’d like you to then do the part of our CEO Analysis tool where we work through describing how the emotion feels in your body, whether it is positive or negative and give it a number from 1-10, gut reaction there. I’d also like you to consider if this box allows you to move forward in your life at all.  If it does, put a checkmark on it. If you only have one emotion that you’re feeling, that’s totally fine. You’ll have your emotion box then, and the peaceful box in the bottom right. Now, fill in the peaceful box. Pretend for a moment that you are peaceful, and imagine how you would feel if you felt that way. Fill in how your body would feel, whether it’s positive or negative and on a scale from 1-10.

00:06:04

When you’re done. I’d like you to turn the page over and walk away from it. If those emotions come up while you’re away from it, remind yourself that you wrote them down, and can jump into them at any time. But for now, you are going to be present. Go to a place where you can calmly focus on presence. If you’ve never done this before, start with only two minutes. If you’ve done it often, try five or ten. Focus on details of your body, your surroundings. Use all of your senses, or use a sense that you don’t think about normally, maybe it’s something you smell in the air. Look for details that you wouldn’t have noticed had you not gifted yourself with this time. You could look deeply at the wrinkles on your hand, and count them. You could smell the air around you. You could consider your posture and see if you can feel energy within your body. These are just examples. For me, I like to go outside, sit in the grass and look at leaves on trees.

00:07:07

When you feel you’ve had enough time, either go back to the paper that you had started, or if you feel peaceful and want to let it go at that, let it go. There really are no rules here. At some point, you’ll probably head back to that sheet. If you easily find yourself back in one of the emotions that you listed on that sheet, when you think about your child heading back to school, or not heading back to school, whatever the fall looks like for them, then give yourself permission to sit in that emotion. Know you are strong enough to get to the other side of it. Allow yourself the gift of processing through the emotion. While you are in this emotion, see if you can find the primary thought that is causing it for you. Write down the thought if you do. Put it right in that box. Then ask yourself if the thought is true, and is there anything in this moment that you can do about it? 

00:08:05

When you feel you’ve gone through the emotion, and feel you can move on, either gift yourself with more presence, as like a break, or head to the peaceful box on that same page, and write down a thought that you can believe that moves you to more peaceful than you are now. It doesn’t have to be fully peaceful. You’re just taking a baby-step forward.  So write down a thought that you can believe that moves you to more peaceful than you are now.  These baby-steps are powerful. 

00:08:38

Work through this page as you feel led, giving yourself permission to sit in the emotions that you feel, to adjust as you progress, and gift yourself with presence time when you feel confusion about the topic. When you begin to look at the page with clarity on thoughts and can begin to see action items, turn the page over and write the action items down. Any action item should be placed on your calendar with a time to do it, meaning, I’m going to do this on Tuesday, and give myself an hour. Recognizing that that is enough in this moment.

00:09:13

Let’s be real for a moment, none of us knows what the future holds. I think 2020 has proven that. Could your child get the coronavirus and bring it home? Yes, and also no. Both are a possibility. Educating yourself and your child on best practices is about all you can do. Unless your child never leaves the house, the possibility is there, school or no school. Could your child’s school be all online? Sure, it might be, but I know you and your child will be able to handle the change if it comes to that. It may not be what you want, or what they want, or what anyone wants, but life isn’t guaranteed to be what we want. It isn’t guaranteed to be easy, either. Look, life is going to have things that aren’t pleasant. It happens but why live in those moments before they happen?  They might not even happen.

00:10:06

You have the choice to resist a situation or to process through feelings and move on. But until you know what is ahead 100 percent, enjoy where you are now. Enjoy your children being home, if they are, because I’m willing to bet that if they’ve been home for months on end, they aren’t going to rush home anytime soon once they are able to leave.  Prepare the best you can, but also find peace where you can. Allow yourself the gift of feeling your feelings. You are worth it. Keep in mind that your worry over what may happen isn’t helping anyone, especially you. So rather than living in the what-ifs, live in the now with conscious time spent on how to move forward. 

00:10:52

Of course, should you need assistance with navigating your thoughts with this, I am available to the GPS Support Flock Members in multiple ways:  workshops, group support calls, forum questions and more. I have created an online quiz for you to discover if the Support Flock is a good fit for you. If you are curious, fly on over to YourEmptyNestCoach.com/community for the quiz and another community option for my podcast listeners. Or send me a private message on the socials. You’ll find me @emptynestcoach. Message me with the words “Flock membership.” I’ll send you the link to learn more. See you online, friend! [Music] 

00:11:33

The questions I have for you in this episode are: are you able to make fall plans for your family members as of yet? How are your thoughts about fall plans that may exist? [Music]

00:11:52

My Empty Nest friend, we have two quick tips coming to you from a couple of my 2020 Quick Tips Team members: the amazing Susan Stevens and Deirdre Dolan Nesline. You’ll absolutely be able to tell that they both submitted these tips before social distancing. But, here’s the thing, podcasts are out here for a long time, so my hope is that one day they both will make perfect sense again. As I record this, hair salons aren’t allowed to be open. I’m desperately waiting for Susan’s to open so I can get my hair cut. Anyway, thanks for your tips, Susan & Deirdre! [Music] 

00:12:28

Susan:  Susan Stevens, passionate, professional hairstylist, 25 years. My best anti-aging advice, book a consultation at a salon for a new style. Get your hair cut, add some color. Talk to your salon professional about using a dry shampoo and not shampooing every day. Spring is around the corner, and change is truly empowering. [Music]

00:12:54

Deirdre:  Hi, it’s Deirdre from Declutter by Deirdre, and the Magnificent Aging podcast. My tip for this month is donate your gardening equipment and the tools that you’re no longer using to a volunteer chore service or an organization like HomeFront or Habitat for Humanity. Big and small workable tools that will help them restore someone’s home to a clean, safe dwelling are appreciated, and bonus, if you’re lonely or bored, volunteer with some of these organizations and make some caring friends.  Thanks so much for listening. I appreciate you. [Music]

00:13:42

Christine:  Well my empty nest CEO of Your Life friend, if you enjoyed this episode, I invite you to take a moment to subscribe to this podcast. It is free after all! As always, I provide content to make you think. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. Never forget, my friend, that you are amazing! See ya!

[End]

[Bloopers / Still Listening]

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91: Quick Tips: College Focused Episode with Information on Waitlists, Rejections, Scholarships, and More Featuring Monica Matthews Anne Vaccaro Brady Carolyn Allison Caplan and Katy Oliveira

91: Quick Tips: College Focused Episode with Information on Waitlists, Rejections, Scholarships, and More Featuring Monica Matthews Anne Vaccaro Brady Carolyn Allison Caplan and Katy Oliveira

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend!
 
We are back with another Quick Tips episode! We are talking all things college in today’s episode. 
 

Take a listen or read the full transcript below.

⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll down ⇓ , so you don’t miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓
 
Want to subscribe to this podcast? Great news – it is free!
> Click here, and then choose your favorite podcast app – be sure to hit subscribe or follow, once you choose your favorite!
Let me know if you have any additional questions – as I am always happy to explain how podcasts work!
This Episode is Brought to You By
 

Tips Shared in this Episode 

  1. College Scholarship Tips
  2. What To Do When Your High School Senior Is Rejected By Every College
  3. What To Do When Your High School Senior Is On A College Waitlist
  4. When Your Student Is Home For An Extended Period Of Time
  5. And More!

Episode Tips Provided By

Announcements

💚 Send audio feedback to Coach Christine now:   https://www.speakpipe.com/EmptyNestCoach  or call/text to 920-LIFEWIN (920-543-3946).

First Time Here? Try This Order of Episodes

Episode Resources
 


Full Transcript

You are preparing for the empty nest ahead as your child(ren) prepares, heads off to, and experiences college.