As a parent of a future Redhawk, you may be worried about how your student is going to transition into college life and how you will cope as they leave your nest and fly into ours. It’s a busy, sometimes scary, time and we understand the challenges that come with starting a new journey (for you and your student).
To help out, we asked current Redhawk parents to give future Redhawk parents advice on navigating this new territory, and they delivered!
1. Be okay with not hearing from them as often as you used to. Don’t expect an immediate reply to a text. Let your daughter/son know it is okay to call or text you whenever they need to talk; even if it means they reach out at one or two o’clock in the morning. That might be when they need you most. Encourage them to go to social events, meet new people, try new things, and explore different classes (don’t only take classes for your major; find other classes that might be fun or interesting).
2. Allow your child to blossom! My shy son found his niche and absolutely came into his own. As much as we want to shelter and protect them, this is their time to venture out a little, while still under our loving care. Watch them explode into the amazing people that we knew they were destined to become!
3. It was so hard for me to send our son off to college! I actually cried for a week. My best advice is to set up a communication schedule. I asked my son to call me on Sundays and Wednesdays. I thought it might change to once a week, but he still calls, or we call him on those days. I also had lunch with him the second week of school (we only live an hour or so from Cape). That was the best thing for me! It was like I realized he was fine and enjoying himself. Also, I often send a little text of “Goodnight. Love you,” and he will respond, which I love!
4. We’ve enjoyed being involved at SEMO, whether it’s attending sporting events or Family Weekend, being members of the Redhawks Club, etc. But, the most important part is supporting our son and loving him unconditionally. We still worry and ask questions! I appreciate that SEMO sends occasional emails to keep parents informed about special dates and events. This really helps, too. The best advice of all is to always let your child know that no matter what, you will always love them.
5. Don’t let your child have a vehicle at school for at least the first semester, if not the first year. If your child has a car, they tend to run home every chance they can instead of getting involved and making friends on campus. There is really no reason to have a car. If they need to run to Walmart, there is a bus system to get them there. If they need to go home, they can post on the message board and most likely catch a ride with someone going to your area. Encourage your child to get a job on campus where their bosses will work with them to create a schedule that will encourage classroom success. Your child is a young adult, so treat them like one or they will be 35 and living in your basement! This is my third child attending SEMO, and they have all had great experiences here!
6. Don’t worry about the major. It’s great if it stays the same, but more often than not it will change. Don’t get crazy about it.
7. Relax….I know it’s hard to believe, but it will get easier. In fact, about halfway through winter break, you’ll be wondering when they go back 😀. And, just because you CAN call them every day and text them every hour, DON’T. You’ve taught them well. Now, let them use those skills to make good choices, to speak up for themselves, do their own laundry (or wear dirty clothes 🤦🏽♀️), get their books, and everything else they will do. Pray and lean on others when it gets tough.
8. Freshmen year is tough. It is a year of transition. Don’t be surprised if all doesn’t go smoothly. Encourage your child to get involved but don’t be concerned if every attempt isn’t a success. My daughter had a trying freshman year, an improved sophomore year, and a thriving junior year. Hang in there, listen to them, be there for them, and believe in them. They’ve got this! And, so do you.