First-Year Parents: This Is Going To Be Fun

FirstYearParents

We have tried to prepare you for your student's first semester at Berry.  We've told you about all the challenges and potential bumps-in-the road, made sure you knew all the services Berry provides to support students and shared our best advice for helping your student succeed.  But maybe we forgot to say, "This is going to be fun!"

The next four years, and especially the next semester, can be one of the most exciting and rewarding periods in your life as a parent.  Here's why: 

1. You're going to get to know your child in new ways.  Remember that first year of your child's life, when every day seemed to reveal a wonderful surprise? The first time she gave you a true smile. The moment he rolled over by himself. The realization that she could roll a ball to you or that he had perfect pitch.  The first year of college can be like that, as your student discovers new interests and strengths that neither of you may have known were there. "You went backpacking? And you liked it?" "You're running for class office?" "Anthropology is your favorite class?" College won't change your children as much as it will allow them to blossom and become the people they were meant to be. Witnessing that transformation is a rare privilege; savor it.

2. You will realize a return on your investment. Parenting involves a lot of work, and the payoff for your troubles isn't always clear. Sending a child to college lets you see that many of those lessons you tried to impart over the years actually took hold. It may be hard to believe that the person who had to be harangued into helping with the dishes or mowing the lawn is earning compliments from his work supervisor, or that the girl you had to wake up every single morning of high school--sometimes more than once--is managing her time and fulfilling her responsibilities independently. And those homework battles you waged during middle school? They've produced a student who knows how to focus and follow through.  Well done, mom and dad.

3. You are part of the Berry family! When your students enrolled at Berry, they and you joined a community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends united by shared experiences and a commitment to Martha Berry's vision of educating the head, heart and hands. We hope to see you at cross country meets and lacrosse games, concerts, plays and talent shows, Mountain Day and Marthapalooza and, much too quickly, graduation. So welcome to Berry--this really is going to be fun!

Written by Katherine Powell, Director of First Year Experience