I’m sure that September 1 is already circled on your calendar! That’s the day that new DU students can move into their residence halls, and your adventure begins officially. (For those of you whose students are commuters, YOUR excitement begins on Monday, September 2.)
I don’t want to repeat here what you can already access via other links – most notably http://www.du.edu/studentlife/discoveries/2013discoveriesweekglance-parents2.pdf, for those of you who haven’t found it yet. Clicking on this link leads you directly to the Parent and Family Orientation Schedule for 2013. Although, in my view, it’s all fun and informative, I would like to highlight several sessions that I consider “not to be missed.”
1) The Guide to Student Life session on Monday morning – you will have a chance to meet the key players in Student Life. These folks will be important for your students, but can also be a great help to you if you have unexpected challenges as a family and need help quickly. If you can put a name with a face, that is a good thing!
2) The Resource Fair on the Ritchie Center Concourse from noon to 3 on Monday – there will be programs and services at the fair that you wouldn’t even imagine are available to support students and families. Now is a good time to collect information, even for programs like the Cherrington Global Scholars Program that will be a couple of years down the road for your student. Planning is everything!
3) The Student/Parent and Family Panel on Monday afternoon – a good session for pure, unscripted “straight talk” from people who have gone before you.
4) The Provost's Reception Monday evening – this is a great chance to meet the academic leadership and to ask specific questions about curriculum options. College has changed significantly in just one generation. Find out for yourself!
5) Pioneer Passage on Tuesday morning – this is a fabulous event. Seeing all of the first-year students come together for the first time as a class is really fun. You’ll get a chance to hear from the Chancellor and other campus leaders – you can really feel the college passage taking place for your students during this event.
6) Helen Johnson’s talk – if you’re thinking about an early departure, I encourage you to re-consider. Helen’s talk is perhaps the most useful, powerful part of Parent and Family Orientation. Her talk is stunningly good.
7) Chancellor’s Q & A – if you haven’t had a chance to hear Chancellor Coombe speak, or ask him your particular question, here’s your chance. This is an informal Q & A session, no holds barred.
By the time you leave DU, I think you will feel confident that you are leaving your children in good hands. DO leave! It’s tempting to linger, but you will embarrass your students if you do, and you will be communicating the message that you are NOT confident that they’re OK. As I wrote in the Family Handbook, it’s important for you to make your goodbyes short and sweet! I am a crier myself, so I sympathize totally with those of you who will have a lump in your throat the entire last day. But set the tone you want your child to take – have the serious talks before you come to campus. On the day of your departure for home, your role is to be upbeat and encouraging.
Come back soon – Homecoming and Family Weekend is October 25-26!
Meanwhile, cherish the precious present!