Alright, first of all lets establish some ground rules. They will prepare you
to deal with and avoid some predictable first-year conflicts. We've written this
list from the perspective of a child but you know them way better than we ever
could. Some of these "rules" simply won't apply in some instances. So
take them how you want but definitely consider them.
Rule #1 "Don't ask if I'm homesick."
The beginning of school is jam packed with new experiences. I will be meeting
new people and adjusting to new situations every second. The transition is
sometimes very daunting for me. I sometimes wish I hadn't left my comfortable
life that I left behind. Try not to ask them if I'm homesick. You don't want to
hear this when you call: "The idea of being homesick didn't occur to me,
until you called and asked, then it hit me. That was the name of the feeling I
had. With everything going on and my world swirling around me I didn't
realize." Even if I don't tell you during those first few weeks, I do miss
you, so don't remind me.
Rule #2 "Ask me questions, just not too many."
I want to tell you what's going on. Being able to
verbally explain to someone else what I'm feeling will help me sort it out for
myself. So go ahead, ask me questions, just not too many. If you ask a ton of
"I'm just curious questions," I might resent your interference. Don't
let this discourage you though, it makes me feel secure, knowing that someone
cares and is interested in what's happening to me.
Rule #3 "Trust me."
Remember when I was a teenager. I wanted to be able to leave the house
without being asked where I was going and when I would be back, or at least I
thought I did. Now that I've finished high school I now realize why you always
"had to know." But don't you think we can get past that now? Its hard
enough being on your own without someone second-guessing my own second-guessing.
Show me you trust me and I won't disappoint you. Let me know what you expect and
then leave it up to me to do it.
Rule #3 "Write."
I am dying for any break from the monotony of school. Anything from home, news,
a postcard, and even better, a care package. I would give anything for
some news of home and family, however mundane it may seem to you. There is
nothing more depressing than a week of having an empty mailbox. I probably won't
have time to answer most of your letters but please, send them anyway. And if
you think about it, I could really use some home-made cookies about now.
Rule #4 "Visit."
A short visit would really be appreciated. About November I'm longing to get
away from the campus. A nice, short, visit would be great. We could shop a
little, have a nice dinner out, you could meet some of my new friends, and we
could just be a family again. I may be reluctant about admitting that I like it
when you visit, and if you visit to often I may really start complaining but in
general you're a welcome site. Above all, when planning your visit, don't
surprise me. If I have a weekend planned for doing a last minute paper for
biology your visit will be a likely cause of contention. At least give me a
chance to clean my room!
Rule #5 "Expect me to change in my own time."
While I am at college I will be constantly changing. I will be maturing,
learning that I have to take responsibility, and developing into a mature adult.
That's what you wanted right? Just don't expect me to change over night. I will
be forced to grow out of some of my old habits and develop new ones at college.
Don't worry if some of these changes aren't what you see as, "for the
better," I'm still changing. Be patient.
So let's review:
- Don't ask me if I'm homesick.
- Trust me.
- Expect me to change in my own time.
Follow these rules of the college road and we'll have a much smoother time
with me off at college. I'll try my best not to develop that freshman
know-it-all attitude and hopefully everybody will still be speaking to each
other when I graduate.