We asked parents of rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors to think back to their student’s freshmen year and what they wish they had known. Their advice is below.
Family Weekend is important to attend at least in your child’s freshman year! Family weekends are good and done well at Wake.
As soon as you find out when Family Weekend is, make a reservation. The good hotels fill up fast.
Arrive at Family Weekend on Thursday night to take your student and friends out to dinner – great way to get to know them
If you are going to Family Weekend, sign up early for programs you want to go to (they do close out). Book hotel room early (check WFU rate, AAA rate) and also make dinner reservations early.
If you can’t come to Family Weekend, consult with your Deac and come at a time that was better for him/her (academically speaking so as not to conflict with mid-terms for example), and at the same time you can get quality time with your Deac at school without the throngs of other families there. We coordinated with his roommate’s family so we could overlap and be with them – that has been great!
Enjoy the football game with your student (bring comfortable clothing and sunscreen).
Our student wanted to spend more time with us than in activities, but we signed up for lots of fun and gave away the tickets we didn’t use. It’s hard to know what you will want to do, if you’re a rookie family to Wake Forest like we were. Just sign up for everything that sounds interesting and you won’t be disappointed. The staff and faculty and students and alumni all make this a wonderful weekend.
Remember that your child may have homework to do and tests to study for even while you are visiting (during family weekend, etc.), so be sure to allow time for him/her to attend to his/her academic responsibilities even though your instinct may be to spend every possible moment together when you are visiting.
If you’re farther away, or your student isn’t the type to ask you, go ahead and make it a priority to travel for Family Weekend- it’s a wonderful time to meet your student’s new friends, and their parents too. Our great kids organized a dinner reservation for 14 students and their parents one night, and it was a big success. Maybe your student can come home on the occasional weekend, but this was our only visit, between moving in and Thanksgiving.
Don’t forget to include roommate/hallmates if their parents can’t come to Family Weekend. Invite anyone to join you if their parents can’t be there.
[Editorial note: The comments have been minimally edited and grouped together for coherence. In come cases, comments were combined with others. When we had parents responding with the same advice, we repeated it for emphasis. In the event a parent offered advice that ran counter to what Wake Forest advises, it was not included. These comments represent the views of the parent commentators, not the views of the Office of Family Engagement (formerly Parent Programs office) or Wake Forest. ]