This is the second part of a series. Read all of the series here.
No, not the TV show, although can I do a quick shout-out for TGIF?
Moroccans value family ties. On our flight into Casablanca, the man sitting next to me was a Moroccan who currently lives in Pennsylvania. Every year, he cashes in all of his vacation time to spend a month in Morocco with his family. A young Moroccan family living in Denmark shared our train carriage from Marrakech. They, too, spend a month each year with their family in Agadir and Casablanca. The driver we had for an excursion one day probably spent two-and-a-half of the five hours driving us talking about family.
As the norm in America steadily trends toward families spreading out, often beginning with the college choice, we would do well to remember the value of the family. The habit of reconnecting with each other can begin in the first year of college.
When my older sister went away to Georgia Tech, I was starting 10th grade and was wrapped up in my own life. It was weird to talk to her on the phone. But we did it. And now that we live 16 hours apart, those habits of staying connected have served us well.
When I consider that I help students leave their families geographically, I also consider that I have a responsibility to encourage them to stay connected to their families emotionally. Prioritizing the family is a habit that carries well beyond college.