Slow down: bumps ahead
As a parent of two BU students and an empty-nester, I have learned a thing or two about parenting college age students. Before the academic year begins, I wanted to share with you that there will be bumps during this period of transition. My best advice, in anticipation of these bumps is to, of course, slow down but also to be prepared.
Let’s face it, during the first semester, you will inevitably get a late night phone call from your student such as:
• I need you to send me . . .
• I’ll never get along with my roommate . . .
• I’m homesick . . .
• I think I’m getting the flu . . .
You will be awake all night long worrying about your student and thinking about possible solutions to the problem at hand. It will feel great to be able to handle some of these bumps.
For example, trust the information you received during Summer Orientation.
- You’ve made copies of your student’s pertinent information in case of the loss of IDs, etc.
- You know the Office of Residence Life will help guide your student through any roommate issues that may arise.
- Homesickness is normal. Encourage your student to join a student club/organization, to volunteer with the Community Service Center, or attend an event at the Howard Thurman Center.
- Student Health Services is available to all BU students and nurse practitioners are on-call.
If you don’t have an answer for the panicked, late night phone call (note, your student will likely not even remember what the problem is/was the next morning), become familiar with the BU website, know the resources available to your student, call the Parents Program, or post a question on the Facebook page.
I’ll never forget my daughter calling me, I could sense the extreme frustration in her voice, “Mom, I’m never going to be able to get above a B grade on my papers. I’ve tried my hardest and it’s just never going to happen.”
She was very surprised when I asked her if she had contacted the Educational Resource Center to use their writing assistance services. She could not believe that I actually knew about a resource available to BU students before she did.
You should also get a better understanding of what your student is talking about or referring to—for example what does a student mean when he or she says “we are meeting friends at 100 BSR, to take the “T” from Kenmore Square to the MFA for a CAS class before a meeting with an RA in StuVi I?”
My advice to you is—learn BU’s, and Boston’s for that matter, acronyms. The Parents Program has a great guide for you and your student will be impressed with your new found lingo!
Before you know it, you are at BU, being directed to pull up curbside at the designated dorm, volunteers help unload all the items into these huge rolling carts, and your student is moving into his/her dorm room, finally! Be prepared to be scooted out of the room immediately after your help is no longer needed, after all activities are happening, friends are eager to meet each other, and are waiting for them in their new home away from home. Don’t worry—your fellow Terrier parents will be waiting for you in the BU Pub at the Parent Pit Stop, tissues provided!
Sure there will admittedly be some bumps in the road. I worried so much, and I still do sometimes but I wake-up each morning to BU Today in my Inbox. I am awed by all of the opportunities that lie ahead for my Terriers and the resources that are available to them.
Good luck! Enjoy! Slow down.