Gen Xer’s advice on COVID coping

Today, Nov. 23, Newman University in Kansas begins an 8-week “timeout” from in-person classes.

That’s not unusual these days. What IS unusual is that Gen Xer and professor of criminal justice Kristi Edwards is giving some of her generation’s tips for managing a timeout having grown up as a latchkey kid “without adult supervision (yes!) the internet (gasp!) or extracurricular activities (no!)”

Her advice to her students works for the millions who have been thrown into online (unsupervised) activity. She recommends an open mind and an open heart.

Edwards writes:

“Honestly, the key to being a successful latchkey kid is simple: Live up to the expectations of the people who love you, hold yourself to a standard of excellence and respect that everyone has an important job.

“Ask yourself: What do my loved ones expect from me during my time away from campus? As the Karen that loves you, I can provide guidance: I expect you to finish this semester strong and keep learning while we are apart. Get the good grade, read the big book and study all of the social issues. Think critically about everything, including your future and exactly how you can achieve your greatness.

“Ask yourself: how can I hold myself to a standard of excellence?

“Having spent a lifetime striving for excellence, I have a trick you can use. Make a list, check it twice, and then you will find out exactly how awesome you can be when you achieve. Seriously. Give yourself a list of chores. Every. Single. Day. Finish the list, and then make a new one. Always have a goal, even if it is as simple as “GET OUT OF BED.”

“Finally, and this is the hardest part, make peace with your part (i.e. job) to play in this social experiment. Decisions have been made that you may not like, may not yet understand, and you must trust that every decision has been made with your best interest at heart. Respect the decision, and you will find peace.”

As a teacher who has not been in a classroom with his college and high school students for eight months, this Boomer affirms Edwards’ latchkey message. We care about each of our students, we see your struggles and, though we wish we could take some of that load for you, we know you must and will do this through sheer determination. We believe you will.

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