Volume 18 • Issue 1
Winston and Linda Battarbee, parents of Ashley 08 and Whitney 10 Battarbee, shared the following thoughts with parents of incoming students during the Parent Orientation Welcome Aug. 19.
A Parent Orientation Welcome
We were introduced to Southwestern three years ago during a spring break trip across Texas, with the purpose of looking at as many colleges as we could. After having visited several large campuses and a few smaller private schools, we ended up at Southwestern. We were very impressed, but Ashley was sold. We felt confident that Southwestern was the right university, but we were a little out of our comfort zone, not knowing what to expect as parents of a first-year student. Now, as parents of another first-year student, we begin the process again, and we still feel anxious, even though the surroundings are familiar.
The first year of college was definitely a time of change for both Ashley and us. As parents of a high school student, we had a sense of security knowing where she was, what she was doing and who she was with. But as parents of a college student, all that changes. At this point, its all about trust. We have to trust that we did our best to prepare our daughter for this very important stage of her life.
Our home was a lot quieter, and we looked forward to checking our e-mails and instant messaging. As the school year continues, you will hear from your son or daughter probably a little less than you would like, and he or she will let you hear only what they think you need to know. It is really important to keep the lines of communication open, especially through the mail. A card or care package is a connection to home and is always appreciated.
We encouraged Ashley to get involved in campus activities and meet new friends. We wanted her to do well academically, but at the same time, we wanted her to enjoy her time at Southwestern. Learning to balance academic and social life on their own is a big step for all our children. As first-year students, everything is new and exciting, and even a little overwhelming as they face new freedoms and responsibilities.
Its not easy seeing your child struggle without instinctively wanting to jump in and fix the problem. We just tried to offer love and support, and advice or opinions when Ashley asked for them. She learned to make good decisions on her own. Sometimes mistakes can be our best teachers.
As parents we have spent the last 18 years doing everything possible for our children. Now it is time to trust that we taught them well and that they have learned what they needed to make good decisions, as they begin making decisions for themselves.
Online Parent Resources
Southwestern Parent Web site
Stay current on Southwestern resources and programs. Learn more about Family Days, Parent Orientation, the Official Southwestern Alumni Ring and the Just for Seniors program.
News from SU for Parents
News from SU for Parents is an electronic newsletter that is sent monthly to all parents of Southwestern students. If you are not receiving your copy of News from SU, e-mail email@example.com. Also, archived editions of News from SU for Parents are located on the parent Web site.
Contact the Office of Parent Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
For a full calendar of events, visit www.southwestern.edu/calendar.html.