Monday, August 13, 2012

Leaving the Nest

The following is a post written by Jim Bender, Director of Alumni & Parent Relations for Northwestern.

Leaving the nest.

Well, the boxes are slowly getting packed, last minute shopping is occurring, and the family is taking those final summer trips.  It is hard to believe but in the next few weeks, many of your families will be headed down the "off to college" road.  My wife and I remember taking our oldest son, Justin to college for the first time. Our family was so excited but that excitement turned into sadness when we hit the freeway headed home. For many of you, the feeling is going to be the same.  For others, the emotions my be totally different.  The point is you will experience emotions.  It is so important to remember that God created us with emotions (men, believe it or not, that includes you too).  As I thought about some practical things to share with you about preparing for your student to leave the nest, I thought of three things:

1.  Put together a plan.  This includes a financial plan which encourages your student to understand budgeting.  Plan for those first few visits home during the school year.  We encourage your student to stay on campus for at least the first several weeks before coming home.  This will help your student transition to college life.
2.  Talk.  Yes, just talk.  Talk about your feelings.  Talk about what this life transition looks like for your family.  Talk with your student about expectations while attending college.  Talk about possible career options after college.  Families can never talk too much.
3.  Pray.  This should actually be number one.  Bathe all of your families transition in prayer.  Pray for your student's college experience.  Pray for their new roommates.  Pray for Northwestern College and pray that God will be close to your family.  Pray that God will do a great work in the life of your student.

Preparation for your child leaving the nest is a much better experience if you have a plan, if you have open dialogue, and if you pray.  If our office can be of any assistance to you, please do not hesitate to call or email.  

Jim Bender
Director of Alumni & Parent Relations
Northwestern College

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