From Jean Card – Connecticut’s Foremost Expert and Coach on Students with Learning and Emotional Challenges

By General Education Advice
Director of Student Mastery
Jean Card, Director of Student Mastery

Coming of Age Ceremonies

Religions and cultures across the globe have celebrations to honor becoming an adult.  For that reason, it would seem that transitioning from child or adolescent to adult must be a big deal.  Here in the melting pot of the US, many of those religions and cultures still have those celebrations.  However, there are also other symbols of that journey to adulthood that are meant to pave the way to independence, maturity and self-discovery.

Consider how you felt when you got your license.  Even when your parents asked you to run to the market to get milk you felt like Vasco de Gama.  The notion that you could now explore your world, no matter if that world was rural or urban.  You could pick up friends and go to see a movie…a rated R movie…without an adult!  Your experience began to exist outside of your room, your school and the passenger seat.  YOU were in the driver’s seat.

Do you remember your first love?  Yes, teenage love is real love.  You began to explore who you found attractive and vice versa.  You started to experiment with makeup and clothing. You began to explore both emotions and sexuality.  You went on a date, maybe in a car because you have your license!  You attended Homecoming or Prom or Formals.  You and your date gathered with friends and their dates for pictures before heading off to the big themed event.

Let’s not forget the thrill of NOT going home after school.  Staying after school was so fun.  It was the proving ground of who you were becoming outside of the classroom.  Diversity Club for the social justice student.  Soccer team for an athlete. Jazz band for the musically passionate student.  Unified Sports for the student who is an empath.  Chess Club for the calculating competitor.  Photography Club to dabble in the visual arts.

Instead of paving a path to independence and self-discovery, adolescents in the Covid era hit a dead end.  License exams were delayed.  Movie theaters were closed indefinitely.  Dating over Zoom wasn’t really a thing.  Proms and Homecomings and Formals were all cancelled.  Sports and music and clubs were all postponed until further notice.  The truncated journey has greatly impacted teens.  We have heard a lot of the learning loss in the younger students, and that is a valid concern.  As someone who has spent 20 years working with teens and young adults, I worry about the loss of self that happened due to Covid.

If your child is having difficulties readjusting to school, contact Jean Card