We were all excited for Logan, but we were also anxious. Now that his freshman year is complete and we look back on the big move there are some lessons learned. First of all, don’t over anticipate. For my wife and I, we spent a lot of time anticipating what he may need and after all was said and done, we actually purchased more things for him than he really needed. Remember, everything that your students take with them has to be moved back out at the end of the year. We actually had to store his items this past summer in a storage unit because we had purchased so much!!! Second, understand that your student will do fine without you. Initially, we thought we had to hear from him every day to make sure he was okay. Give your student some room and time to settle in. Don’t be overbearing and insist that you need to know everything that is going on daily. For most students, this is their first experience being without mom and dad and they are actually excited about that. They will need to know that you trust them and that you believe they will be able to make their own decisions. Of course, they also need to know that if they need your help, you are only a phone call away. Thirdly, understand that your student WILL make a mistake because nobody is perfect. Besides, how would we learn if we never made a mistake? Last, but not least, be supportive. Visit them once in a while, not every weekend, but occasionally. Don’t be upset when they tell you they are coming home for the weekend and you get a call on Friday afternoon that they are staying in Statesboro. Call and check on them, but not every day. Send them a letter once in a while. The goal is to still be present in their lives but to give them room to become responsible adults. It was particularly difficult for me, because I always wanted to be in control, know every detail, and still be the decision maker in my child’s life. However, I learned very quickly that needed to change. We are still Logan’s parents, we still want the best for him, we still want him to be successful, but now we are parenting in a different situation - long distance. Give your students room to grow, room to make their own decisions, and respect them and let them know that you are always available even though they are no longer under your roof. Logan had an amazing first year at Georgia Southern. We know now that he can “survive” without us there every day and he can make wise decisions. He is well on his way to becoming a strong, independent man. I would like to congratulate every parent who has sacrificed and made the decision to send their student to Southern. Best wishes, as your family makes the transition to college life!!!!
David King(Georgia Southern Parent and Family Association Council Member)