Our Parents' Testimonials - From the Parents of the HRL Pros!
We know that dropping your young adult off to college is a trying time for parents. No, none of us in the Department of Housing & Residence Life have had the opportunity to be that parent, but we all have parents who have been there and know what it is like. So instead of offering you our advice for "letting go" of your son or daughter, we asked our parents who, once upon a time, had to "let go" of us as we made our way onto college.
Residence Hall Director Josh Reda asked his Mom, Debbie Reda, what advice she would give to a "Freshmen Mom or Dad":
"It's tough.....One of the hardest things you will do. Moving your son/daughter into a college dorm and then walking away. But they will be fine; they will survive. You might not....but they will. You just have to let go; be there when they need you but give them their space."
Here's a quote from Dolly Janus, the mother of Assistant Director of Housing Operations and Marketing Cheryl Janus McCloskey:
As our only daughter left for college we knew, although our hearts were torn, we had to stay positive. If we did not do this we would spoil the experience our daughter was about to encounter. We kept ourselves busy with obligations to our jobs, aging parents, and I also went back to college. Essentially both my husband and I kept ourselves very busy. Not thinking about empty moments. Those moments were filled with the stories of the activities of her college experience and her new friends. We attended many of the parent activities on campus, made lifelong friends with other parents, and grew from our daughter's experience. Please allow your child to grow into the person he or she is able to become. Let them learn to make appropriate choices for themselves and support their decisions.
Residence Coordinator Alex Colon's parents had this to share when asked about their experience "letting go" of their son as he set off for college:
What was the hardest part about sending your kid to college?
"I think the hardest part for me was that I no longer had control. And I don't mean it in a bad way. It now means that I have to expect them to change that I will no longer be the major point of influence in their life. They don't live here anymore and they will grow. I'm scared of losing my baby, but hey I was my mom's baby once too and I changed too so I should expect nothing less."
How did you learn to cope with the empty nest effect?
"GO OUT! I told my husband that now that we don't have the kids (twins both away at school) we can finally do what we want and not have to worry about their schedules. We traveled, and spent quality time together."
What was the best part of sending your kid away to college?
"Honestly? The freedom! I raised a child to be the best person they could be and to lead by example is no easy task. I devoted 18 years to my son and now that he is on his own, with guidance of course, but away from home on his own for 10 months out of the year, I can focus on me. I'm really excited for him to gain life experience and see parts of the world I couldn't see when I was in school."
1. My first thought when I found out my son would be living on campus was excitement for him to have the opportunity to experience college life. I then created a list of things I wanted to make sure he had so he could and would be as comfortable as he would be if he were home.
2. The way I learned to cope with my son living away from home was learning to text! I knew I would not be able to talk to him every day or see him every day, but we could always text just a simple "Hey son", or he to me "Hey ma" would make me smile until the next time I could talk to him or visit with him.
3. I would advise parents who are sending their child off to college soon to believe in the lessons they have taught them over the years and not to worry they will learn to manage their schedules. Always listen and offer advice only when asked, because most often they have figured out their own plan are often just sharing their thoughts with you not asking you to choose for them. Most of all keep a small cash reserve for those days just before the meal plan is refreshed and they want to order late night pizza.