A Post for New Vandy Parents and Short Waitlist Update
I have three sons, all under the age of three, and I work in admissions. That means that my ability to make a living depends on the decision-making of 17-year olds, and my ability to get a good night’s sleep depends on the whims of 4-month olds (our twin boys). I am like the dad in the car commercial from some years ago that wonders out loud while driving his toddler around town, “Now I’m a dad, and it’s my job to tell him, ‘No, that cookie’s fallen on the floor, you can’t eat that . . . when inside my head, I’m thinking – five second rule – that cookie’s still good.'” I am, like most parents I know, a work in progress on the parenting front.
Watching that move-in video from last week got me thinking about what the parents who read this blog are going through in this process of supporting, and ultimately preparing their child to go off to college. I think about what my parents did for me when I went off to school. They had just driven off after hugs and few wetted eyes. I got back to my room and started up my computer and on my desktop they had each written me a letter. Each one stated how proud they were of me, and gave advice about what to look out for in the coming years. I still have those letters. I loved it so much, in fact, that for each of my sons, I have been writing them letters since they were born. The thought is that I will someday give them over to them when they go off to college.
So it is with humility that I attempt to offer advice to parents at least 4 times my senior in the parenting biz. I won’t pretend that I know first hand what it is like to send your child off to college, but I have been a second hand observer to the process, having worked for colleges almost a decade. The Southern journalist Hodding Carter wrote, “There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.” You’ve given them so much throughout their life, and have taught them well. Trust them now in hopes that some small portion of what you’ve taught has sunk in, most importantly the love you gave them.
So with that here’s a couple of pieces of advice:
1) Most college students change their major, it’s not a big deal. Be prepared for some homesickness, it’s also not a big deal.
2) Leave his or her room like it is for a while. Yes, he or she will be living at college, but that room is still home, and it can be unsettling to come back and see the room has been reacquisitioned by the family. It’s not a scientific sample or anything, but every friend I had in college that had this happen to them had issues like a magazine rack about it.
3) Come for parent weekend. You’ll love it.
4) Send care packages, your child will love it. The Vandy bookstore will even have ready-made packages for you to order in the fall.
5) Consider getting involved in the Vanderbilt Parent and Family Association and stay connected to your son or daughter’s community. There’s also a parent hotline for any questions that you might have.
As of right now, all of the calling from the last wave has concluded and no new calling is currently being done. Our waitlist is still active though and we are watching to see how some of the remaining deposits shake out to determine if another wave of calling needs to happen. That’s all I know right now, and will update when I can.