By Robert and Susan Weisberg
we risk giving advice that is even
vaguely philosophical or high-minded, just remember this: Send food.
Preferably cookies and sweets, and dont rely on the U.S. Postal
Service. You can use UPS, now that its contract is secure.
Worry, if you must, about leaving your freshmen somewhere they may not
be prepared for. Share your thoughts with other parents, but dont
bother sharing them with your freshmen. At our age, we tend to view
these things with sobering existential self-reflection. We may even get
spiritual. They are far more into vitality than spirituality and they
are too busy.
Now lets get to it: transitional agonies.
Despite all that freshman orienting, dont assume that their
transition to college is necessarily dramatic or even traumatic.
Certainly nothing compared to yours now. Mostly, school is about
studying and going to class. Theyre already very skilled at that. They
have already been living like college students for the last few years,
checking in at home only occasionally to change clothes or credit cards.
Most of the hours theyve been home theyve been asleep. But you always
knew they were there. Now theyre gone for most of the year, and you may
feel the difference far more than they do. So if you want to immerse
yourself in the experience of dramatic change, go ahead and do so, but
dont expect them to share your sense of drama.
Lets now address something really serious. If your kid happens to tell
you about a bad day on an exam, youll presumably have the good sense to
just say something reassuring and lighten the load. Pressure can push a
freshman to do something you cant take so lightly. We have an Honor
Code here. Its fair and humane and its not gratuitously harsh
but its not soft either. Your