Here’s a new Millennial segment (Millennials being late teens and twenty somethings), I call them Left Backs. Left backs are kids who leave the home for the first time, mostly to go to college, and don’t know how to do anything because their parents (often moms) did all the heavy lifting for them. All that was left was the drama. Many have been immersed in sports to keep them busy, they’ve gotten good grades, perhaps had a job at the bagel shop – but mostly for show. Left backs have few street smarts though they may have seen some on MTV.
Left Backs are rarely late because parents are up their iPhones, have no sense of direction (too embarrassed to ask for help at a gas station), mom is #1 on speed dial, and Google is their daddy. These kids don’t do too well with adversity, though high school sports helped, and when at college seek friends who are also somewhat socially behind. There was a giggle I learned at college that the rich kids didn’t know where toothpaste came from. Somehow, at home, it was always in the medicine cabinet.
Kids that leave home with some independence tend to hit the ground running at college. They’ve been less protected and have the scars to show for it. Moms and dads need to “cut the leash” as Eddie Vedder sings. Do so and your kids will start college without a parent-enhanced essay, but with some life chops. Peace!