Daughter At College: What Keeps Me Up At Night

BonBon Break


At the time that BonBon Break shares this post, the search for Hannah Graham continues. Our hearts go out to Hannah, her family, and the UVA community, as we hope for Hannah’s safe return home. ~Ellie

A Daughter In College: What Keeps Me Up At Night by Grown & Flown

Image by T.B. Kilman

by Mary Dell Harrington of Grown & Flown

We got a call last Monday night from our daughter at college who began by saying “Mom, I’m ok but…” At that point, my stomach twisted and every nerve in my body began to buzz as I waited for the phrase to follow. Surely something bad had happened.

She told me that one of her classmates had gone missing over the weekend. As I write this, Hannah Graham, 18 years old and a second year student at UVA, has still not been found.

I feel an emotional wrestling match between my protective instincts and my daughter’s new-found independence. I want her to fully enjoy her college years, but as her mom, I cannot help but fear for her safety. Concerns about safety are real – both for parents and college freshman, who are at higher risk for victimization than older students.

How can our daughter and other freshman girls, in particular, best manage legitimate anxiety while embracing an exciting yet still unfamiliar college world? And in the wake of a disappearance of an 18-year old girl, how will the balance between caution and adventure shift?

Grown & Flown HeadshotABOUT MARY DELL AND LISA: Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa Endlich Heffernan are the voices behind Grown & Flown: Parenting from the Empty Nest. Between them they have five children for a total of 93 years of parenting experience as they hurtle towards their empty nests. Mary Dell has a MBA from Harvard Business School and worked at NBC, Discovery, and Lifetime. Lisa has an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and worked as a Wall Street trader before becoming an author of three books including New York Times Business Bestseller, “Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success.” She writes for The Atlantic as well as the Huffington Post.

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