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What Advice Do You Give Your Student?

Hey BU parents,

     I have to admit, it’s a rather gloomy day on campus, gray and rainy. I can feel the mental grit of fall semester descending on us all. This, as they say, is where the rubber meets the road. This period tends to be a tricky time for a lot of students because there are bursting with changes to their mental outlooks, personal lives, academic careers, and maturity levels. There may be moments when your students feel lost, but there will also be moments when they identify new and profound pieces of themselves. Always, they will ask your advice. So tell us, what advice do you give them?

In an effort to hear about some good parent advice, I cornered our faithful ARC workstudy student, Tori Brown, and asked her to share some of the best advice her parents have given her over the course of her three years at BU. I should note that Tori is an academically succesful and intellectually mature junior who balances classes in the education department, a workstudy job, a part-time job of campus, and a family in another state. I only gave her a simple prompt, asking her to write down the best advice her parents ever gave her. Below is Tori’s response–raw and unedited–what she might say to the freshman class, if asked, about her parents’ best advice.

Hello freshman! My name is Tori Brown and I am a Junior Education major here at BU. I was asked to think about a time when my parents offered me profound advice or got me through a stressful situation. The truth is, I had to get myself through those hard times. The first time I called home for help this is what I got, “I can’t fix it from here. We’re 400 miles away, so what would you like me to do?” Then it came, the most useful advice my parents ever gave me, “Don’t worry, you can do this.” Right then, and every moment since then, I realized that my parents were no longer there to correct me, hassle me, or most importantly, fix my problems for me. From then on, I was on my own.

While I still call my parents frequently, I now seek their input rather than their suggestions for how I handle problems. I look to them for example rather than to control how I live my life. And most importantly, I try to learn from their experience rather than their expertise, because while they may have been there, they are not here now. All I can ask of them now is to be proud of the person I am becoming, and to encourage me when I doubt my abilities. Remember, your parents will always be your parents, but what they won’t always be, is your puppet master.

Here are some memorable quotes my parents have given me in the past 3 years:

  • Take care of yourself because you can’t do anything 100% if you are not 100%
  • Remember why you’re there, your education comes before everything else
  • Organize, Prioritize, and Strategize; These three verbs will get you through college
  • Make a friend in all your classes. They will come in handy for notes, forgotten assignments, and studying.
  • Remember that there is always someone looking up to you, so try to always be at your best
  • Before you do things, ask yourself, “Is there anyone I will have to hide this from?” If your answer is yes, then you probably should NOT do it!

What do you think? I found Tori’s reflection tremendously insightful. How about you?
Check out this link to see the Parent Spotlight for this week; meet Kim Charlet, mother of Keira Charlet (class of 2014), and Lisa and Mike York, parents of Jessica York (class of 2014), and see what advice these parents give their students.

I would love to hear from you soon!

Jessica Hume, c/o 2005
Director of Writing and Parent Communications, ARC

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About Cassie

I'm the Director of the Writing Center and Director of Parent Communications at Bellarmine University.

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