An article highlighted this week in the Sacramento Bee outlined how many schools across the country are catering to parents during first year orientation and student drop offs instead of just the incoming students.
According to “Countdown to College: Parents’ Orientation,” it’s more about providing parents with logistics all in one place, and less about hovering for longer. Students attend course registrations and meet their dorm mates, while parents “register for classes and parents learn about campus safety, meal plans, credit cards, health insurance, etc.” While some universities offer “concurrent workshops that students and parents attend dealing with: study abroad, leadership opportunities, clubs, Greek life, career services, outdoor opportunities, diversity and multicultural affairs, performing arts and first year seminars.” Parents might gain more insight into the logistics or financial aid support for some of those activities if they attend these workshops or discussions.
The article gives parents some tips that Hughes College Prep endorses, including taking note of financial information and available resources for you and your student. Pay attention to opportunities your student might be too distracted or nervous to take not of, like access to a writing center or free transportation.
But finally, as Shulman Bierer notes, “Give your student some space. Let them meet their roommates and call the shots. Don’t linger! It’s hard to say goodbye, but just do it.”
You can check your student’s future college’s website to find out if they offer opportunities for parent orientation. If you opt out and find you can access most of the information online, help your student unpack their room and let them start their adventure with your support.
Read the full article here.