Parents of incoming freshmen:
Your kid just graduated last week. You’ve probably already eaten your weight in Sam’s Club sheet cake and cocktail meatballs at graduation party after graduation party. What more can life ask of you? You got a child through 18 years of growing after all.
Amidst this hustle, it’s my job to remind you that soon will be time to get serious about preparing for Bellarmine. Rather than overwhelming you with daunting “must-do” lists, I’m starting you out with some easy ways to begin preparing to transition from high school senior to first-year college student. As the summer progresses, Bellarmine and Bellarmine Parent Programs will follow up with some more specifics (be sure to sign up for our Parent email list).
- Keep in mind, but not obsess, that high school is over and Bellarmine begins in August. Last summer several incoming parents shared their worry that their son/daughter seemed to take no interest in preparing for Bellarmine (Other students might be the opposite!). Whatever the case, give your son or daughter a chance to come to terms with this life change in his/her own way—don’t panic too soon if the“normal” signs of being “super psyched” about Bellarmine aren’t on display every moment. Once Bellarmine begins, students should commit socially and academically. You (and the faculty/staff here) will begin to worry and intervene if warning signs show. Over the summer, your family might consider a summer day or weekend trip to Louisville to see the sights and get your son or daughter excited about the Fall. Doing something is sometimes easier than thinking abstractly.
- On a practical note, encourage your son/daughter to begin self-management for the summer—getting up and going on his/her own is a start. Many students struggle with this when they get to Bellarmine. If you’re really ambitious, go over this article with you son or daughter and talk about what they’ll need to learn to do before beginning college. This is your chance to “keep an eye” on how well they’ll be able to manage daily life.
- Make your own e-tours. You’ve been on the official tour, poked around our website, but take some time to really explore the BU website and student portal (only accessible with a student username/password). Also, students and parents can go ahead and get involved through social media. Once roommates are assigned, students can “friend” them on facebook and join the Class of 2017 facebook group (for students only!). Incoming students have been known to plan outings before classes begin, like a trip to an amusement park. Other social media accounts that provide solid information and access to the BU community are the Bellarmine ARC (facebook and twitter @BellarmineARC) and official BU facebook and twitter (@bellarmineU). Of course, for parents we have your facebook group, which is where I post the most up-to-date information!
- Finally, be on the lookout for information from Bellarmine—you and your student should be receiving mail and email about housing, orientations, programs, and Learning Communities. An Academic Advisor might even call to follow-up with some students about their Fall schedule. First-generation students will be contacted by their Pioneer mentor. You don’t want to miss out on any crucial or helpful information. Remind your students to check their email frequently and return any phone calls or texts from Bellarmine!
Ultimately, take some time this summer to reflect on what this change really means for you and your family. Remember, your son or daughter is probably just as nervous as you are. You don’t have to do everything at once. Bellarmine is here to guide both students and parents along their way.
Experienced parents, what advice can you give at this stage of the transition? What is best to “keep in mind” the summer before first year at Bellarmine?