Happy Black and Gold Friday to all our Deac families out there. Hope that you are showing your Wake Forest spirit by sporting a little black and gold today. That’s our standard Friday uniform, and we encourage you to embrace it wherever you are.
I got an email today from Penny Rue, our Vice President for Campus Life, with a link to an article about the transition from high school to college from a parent’s perspective. The parent just happens to be a famous actor, Rob Lowe, who has written two autobiographies. This is an excerpt from his second book, and it talks about his feelings when he sent his eldest son off to college.
It is a really moving article. Poignant and full of all the awareness of how momentous it is to send a beloved child far away to school, how hard it is to let go, even as you are excited. Here is a little excerpt below – the full article is online.
“The clothes are off the bed and zipped into the bags. The bed is tidy and spare; it already has the feel of a guest bed, which, I realize to my horror, it will become. I replay wrapping him in his favorite blanket like a burrito. This was our nightly ritual until the night he said in an offhanded way, “Daddy, I don’t think I need blanky tonight.” (And I thought that was a tough evening!)
I think of all the times we lay among the covers reading, first me to him, Goodnight Moon and The Giving Tree, and later him to me: my lines from The West Wing or a movie I was shooting. The countless hours of the History Channel and Deadliest Catch; the quiet sanctuary where I could sneak in and grab some shut-eye with him when I had an early call time on set, while the rest of the house was still bustling. I look at the bed and think of all the recent times when I was annoyed at how late he was sleeping. I’ll never have to worry about that again, I realize. I make up an excuse to leave the room and head to my secret corner.
For his part, Matthew has been a rock. He is naturally very even-keeled, rarely emotional; he is a logical, tough pragmatist. He would have made a great Spartan. True to form, he is treating his impending departure as just another day at the office. And I’m glad. After all, someone’s gotta be strong about this.”
Vice President Rue sent a second article as well – this one a bit more scholarly than popular. It is from a faculty member at Bowling Green University, and it talks about some of the ways students might engage while they are at college, how they can grow. It is an article grounded in the experience of a seasoned faculty member with years of student observation under his belt, combined in a letter to his daughter Clare, who is leaving for college soon. Here is the full article: From_Here_to_Clare.
For our upperclass parents, perhaps these articles will resonate with you. For our incoming P’18 parents of freshmen, I imagine you might experience a wide range of emotions throughout the summer as you prepare for your students to come to Wake Forest. You might want to talk with your students about these topics – maybe even write your own From Here to Clare letter?