Here's what Catherine Gillespie's parents (our dorm president) had to say:
......When planning the drop off day, make it days. Unless you are seasoned (meaning you have done the Freshman drop off more than twice), you always will spend more time, money and effort than you anticipate. Planning more time allows you to enjoy the time together, takes off the stress and makes it a more memorable experience.
......When getting a local hotel room, make sure you get an extra bed or pull out sofa bed. Give your new ND student the option of sleeping in the hotel while you are there. They may not, but it helps in the transition (more yours than theirs).
......Trepidation to a new situation is normal. What your children want to hear is optimism, enthusiasm, encouragement, and (particularly) confidence from you. They have stepped into the academic pros. They are in ND because they can succeed. Your support will help them achieve that success.
......Encourage your children to drink in the fullness of school (while performing academically to stay in school). This is the only time in their lives they will be with 8,000 people their own age, have their living needs taken care of, and be in an environment full of opportunities to experience new things.
......Let them know that you respect them and you believe in them and their abilities to succeed
......With each week, the transition from high school to college becomes easier and multitasking become second nature.
......There is a lot of goodwill and camaraderie between the girls and their families. The network and bonds forged this week-end, will be legendary.
Here's what Emily Singer's mom had to say (she also has a daughter who is a senior at ND)
......Bed Bath & Beyond has a college checklist online which is a great reference for determining what you need, plus other helpful tips and suggestions. Items can be selected at a local store or possibly even online, and they will be waiting for you for pickup at the South Bend Store, eliminating hauling or shipping. During move-in Notre Dame also sets up vendors on campus that sell futons, room organizers, lamps, etc. and other items you might need.
......Remind your student that every other freshman is in the same situation that they are-living away from home for probably the first time. Encourage them to participate in the frosh-o activities as many students meet their life long friends that weekend! There are other activities following that weekend as well, and every day that passes allows the faces that once were strangers to become friends, so be sure they participate!
......There will be days when you get the phone call where they are either very very homesick or very very stressed. You will be reeling in parental worry, stress, & angst, over what to do to help your student. Just know that by venting to you it helps them work through their situation and the next time you talk to them (while you might still be reeling) they will be better. Notre Dame is a wonderful place, they are part of a wonderful family there, and there is always someone there who cares and wants to help them-they just have to ask.
.......Last but not least, you do not realize how FAST the four years will fly by so both you and your daughter need to enjoy and experience every minute of it!!!
Here's some input from RA Meaghan Crowley's parents
Here's some advice from RA Katie Sample's mom
......Don't expect your daughter to love ND immediately, it always takes time to get adjusted.
......Don't call too much, e-mail or text instead and wait for them to call you.
......Encourage your daughter not to hesitate to ask questions and to introduce themselves to everyone, don't be shy!
and in case this isn't enough the following is ALWAYS helpful and appreciated