By Donna Shaffner | October 28, 2010
From Donna Shaffner, Dean of Admissions
I’d like to use this blog as an opportunity to begin a conversation with parents. This year, I’m in your shoes: I just sent my first child to college in August, so I understand the college search process on a professional and personal level. There are many things about Canisius that are unique, including the extraordinary education our students receive and the accomplished and dedicated individuals they become. But there is one thing that is common for all families as children are getting ready to leave the nest: this is a stressful time!
The college search process marks the beginning of a changing family dynamic. Students are nervous about being on their own (“I have to do my own laundry!?”), and parents wonder if they’ve done a good enough job preparing their child to succeed on his or her own (“Maybe I shouldn’t have helped so much with that 8th grade volcano.”). In fact, looking for the right college is not only about your child’s future, but a new definition of your family.
It’s important to remember that this is a time when you can begin to develop an adult relationship with your child. Have conversations that focus on their aspirations and dreams – the person they want to become – and place less emphasis on performance and testing. You will undoubtedly visit many colleges as you narrow down your child’s choice; use these visits as a social opportunity to relate to your child. Think of how much pressure they are feeling as they wonder where they will be in less than a year. And think of how uncertain you feel as you prepare to let go of your child.
If you’re sending your first child to college, you want to make sure you do everything right. If you’re getting ready to let your last child go, you might be a little sad. If it’s your middle child, you’re probably twiddling your thumbs while they pick out extra-long sheets and thinking you’ve got this thing down pat. No matter where you are in the college search process, we have your family’s best interest in mind at Canisius. We want to help in any way we can. Visit us and find out why our 3,200 undergraduate students and 1,500 graduate students think of us as family.
Next: The basics of visiting Canisius