Your student’s world is going to become bigger as a result of her college experiences. The things she learns in class, the people she encounters, the experiences she has, the discussions she engages in…all can lead to greater understanding, acceptance and appreciation.
We want your student to become the best person he or she can be. A solid citizen. A compassionate friend. A critical thinker. An accepting individual. All of this and more is possible, with your assistance.
Your student looks to you as an example. He will treat people a certain way and believe things about certain groups quite possibly as a result of your example. So, consider your role in shaping beliefs.
Chances are that your student is going to be positively challenged by the new people she encounters on campus. The roommate with very different political views, the friend with a different religious background, the classmate from a different ethnicity…all will open your student’s eyes, if she is willing. Encourage this type of growth because a student who is open to diversity will experience the world much differently than one who is not.
It may start out as a stint with hall government. Then, your student may get involved in community service. Soon, she may be leading an organization or doing an internship with a group she believes in. Community involvement means different things for different people. What’s most important is that they just do something.
As your student prepares for a bigger world, it doesn’t mean that you will be left behind. Freedom, independence, self-sufficiency…these are all things that we wish for students. Allowing your relationship to evolve as your student dives into the college world requires compromise, flexibility and trust. With these tools at your side, the college experience can be a wonderful, eye-opening experience for both of you.
Compiled based on A New Chapter:
How Parents Fit Into Their Students’ Lives at College