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.
The weeks before and after departure to Wake are tough, and the house will feel less full. Try not to make it harder on your son or daughter by publically dreading the transition. Rather celebrate that you have successfully worked for 18 years to enable this.
I think it is important that the siblings get to visit their Wake sibling (with or without the parents depending on the age). Sibling love is very unique and important and especially with the oldest (our Wake kid is our last), it was important that the siblings got to visit. And now with this last child, it was fun for him to “show-off” his new home and his friends – both to us and to his sisters. Also, it is hard to let them go free for spring break (I have a hard time with that), and yet I think it is a rite of passage for college kids. Hopefully you have brought them up responsibly and can steer them away from the hard-core party places, but at spring break they usually party so hopefully you can encourage it to be in safer surroundings.
It is a transition for you, as a parent, as much as it is for your child.
Your heart hurts a little when you leave your student. But that pain eases with each day. It is pure joy to have them home again (until they start to voice that new-found independence!). If there are other children in the family, it actually a nice, new dynamic where they now have more of a voice and your relationship with them can grow in a new way.
[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. ]