Read everything

Today’s message is geared primarily for our new P’26 parents and families with incoming students – but the underlying message is good for families and students of ALL years.

The New Students website launched on May 2nd, and throughout the summer, our incoming ’26 students will be receiving a lot of information from Wake Forest. So I want to ask your help in stressing to your students that: they must read – and absorb the details! – for any messages they get from Wake Forest.

I know your Deacs are finishing senior year, and it is not necessarily fun to slog through their inbox. But it is incredibly important.

In reading everything they get from Wake, they need to look for action items. Are there requirements? Due dates? Deadlines? Fees if you do (or do not) do something?

Students should get in the habit of reading the fine print. Even (or maybe especially) when the email or document is long. And if something does not make sense or is unclear, they should ask the sender for clarification right then and there.

The bottom line is students – of all years – will be held accountable for the contents of emails and other communications, whether they have read them or not.

It’s important for incoming students to get used to this now, since reading carefully will be critical once school begins. An example: students will need to read the syllabus for each of their classes. The syllabus is like a contract showing what is expected, when assignments are due, how things get graded, etc. They will need to read each syllabus carefully from start to finish, all the details.

Students must read every email they get from Wake Forest – whether that is from a faculty member or an administrator, or it is the WFU Should Know weekly enewsletter that goes to students on Thursday afternoons. Email is how administrative and academic processes will be communicated to students.

And if a time comes when your Deac doesn’t read their emails/details and faces some sort of consequence, hold them accountable and let them experience this as a learning moment. It would be better for them to learn a mildly painful lesson now at college, when the stakes are low, than to make a serious misstep with their first boss/job out of college, when they could face a tough consequence. In this way, experience can be the best teacher.

— by Betsy Chapman Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)

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