College orientation

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
College orientation
15
Sun, 06-08-2014 - 11:22pm

My son graduated from high school on Sat. and I guess he is quite anxious to go to college since he signed up for the 1st possible session of summer orientation (2 days) tomorrow & Tues.  I am a little nervous since it's a 2 hour drive which he has never driven before but about 1 hour of that is one straight highway.  He does have a GPS.  Another thing that annoyed me is that when my DD went to orientation (same state university) she arranged to go with some friends from high school who were going the same time.  I am sure that there are kids from DS' high school going to the major state U, but did he check with anyone?  Of course not.  They have Facebook pages with new students and he has been chatting with some students in his major (nursing) which is a pretty small group.  He seems to like this one guy and wants to be his roommate so they are going together.  So hopefully that will all work out.  I know I'll be a little nervous.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-1999
Mon, 06-09-2014 - 10:19am

Just make sure he knows where he can stop and take a break if he gets tired,even to just get out of the car and get something cold to drink. They underestimate how tiring driving can be when they don't drive distances regularly. He should be fine. DS and a friend just did a trip that was about 6 hours, they were supposed to share the driving, but DS is in a sling due to shoulder surgery. His friend drove the whole way, but they were required to stop every 90 minutes And snapchat both families. 

DS is going to school in a tourist area about 5 hours away. We will drop him off for orientation, go to the parents meeting and take a little break and explore the area. 

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 06-09-2014 - 10:38am

Liz, he has to figure it out sometime.  Knowing the dangers of assuming, I am STILL assuming you drove him there before, for a visit with his sister when she was a student there, or to check out the school before he made his choice. And you can't judge your son by his sister.  He does not seem to be as social as she was, and so driving with just one person may suit him just fine.  Actually, he will be LESS distracted by having only 1 person in the car with him--and especially someone he does not know well.  Here in Illinois,  a teen under 18 cannot have more than 1 other person under age 20 in the car with them, when they drive. 

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 06-09-2014 - 11:02am
Good luck to him! I agree with Sabr on this one.
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Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Mon, 06-09-2014 - 11:10am

The orientation at the U that ds started at had both parents and students come; there were separate programs.  So the kids drove with the parents.  I gather this one doesn't have a parents' program, or you're unable to attend?

I guess pack a small cooler with drinks, make sure the GPS and phone are charged...(my ds signed up for the first one too - he hated high school and was so eager to go to college, which WAS that much better for him)

Sue

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 06-09-2014 - 12:07pm

Yes he has been out there many times to visit sis, but when you are a kid in the back seat, you aren't really paying attention to directions.  At least 1 hour is straight highway but then the fastest route after you get off has a lot of turns.  Since I haven't had any emergency calls, I assume he got there.  I will check in later by text (don't want to annoy him too much.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 06-09-2014 - 12:12pm

They do have a parent's program but since I get no paid time off from work --ever--and I need to take time off this week to have a root canal, I can't afford to go.  Not to mention that being the 2nd child going to the same school for the same major and also that I am not a helicopter parent, I really don't want to attend any seminars on what is your child going to do in college and that kind of thing.

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Mon, 06-09-2014 - 1:03pm

Ok, then.  (and the parent program at his first U had nothing to do with what the kids will be doing)

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 06-09-2014 - 2:18pm

I didn't go to the kids' orientations either.  My kids were commuting, and they knew perfectly well what the expectations of them as students were.  Plus, *I* had attended the same college Rae was attending.

Her orientation was a long weekend.  UIC is a giant, urban school, and about 45% of the students are commuters, so orientation is not about "how to suceed in college", but rather about making big and impersonal seem smaller and more approachable.  The orientation was with other kids in their particular "college" -in Rae's case, Art.  It also included a tour of the bus and train system, how to get downtown from the campus, and a night out at a neighborhood restaurant.  SHe had fun, and a number of the kids she met that weekend remained her friends for years.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Thu, 06-12-2014 - 9:26am

When my kids started undergrad, there was no real parent orientation. The kids went to a school where 100% of the first years live on campus and 90% of the kids are from out of town. The university treats the students as adults.

 Parents moved their kids into their rooms. Each residence had groups of older students who volunteered to help. We spent the afternoon getting things setup (with visits to the local stores) and  lunch was on the university. By 4, parents were asked to leave. The kids had residence orientation to attend plus dinner with their new roommates. Looking back, the students were all eager for mom and dad to leave because residence orientation only started after all the parents had left. Then followed about a week and  a half of activities (fun and serious) for the students before classes started. There is a tour of the campus for the parents in the afternoon and short presentation but that is about it.

The theory is that, if the student is old enough to go away to unversity, she/he is old enough to take responsibility for themselves. It helps that this is difficult university to get into (high marks) and that many are children of alumi, like mine (although that does not factor into the acceptances.)  Plus, the university had hosted  a two day open house over March Break for potential students and parents- tours of the departments and the facilties, the chance to talk to first year profs and the deans etc.. The university has to doing something right; it has the high graduation rate-close to 90%.

Of course, for grad school, there is even less for the parents. We moved DD into her new appartment and that was it. She showed us around her lab during subsequent visits. And, now for DS, who starts grad school in September, it will be the same.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 06-12-2014 - 10:51am

That's kind of what I remember from when I went to college--the freshman went a few days early, there was some kind of speech for parents and that was it, then we had a barbecue and I don't know what else.  I looked at DS'  schedule and it was packed full all day.  There was a lot of how to select your classes stuff, they had to take an English placement test (the math one was done on line), he had a meeting for the honors college about that program.  Then at night they had different activities like board games, dancing, singing or whatever.  He really had a good time--came home all excited and for someone whose description of his trip to NYC with freidns was "we ate a lot and walked around looking at stuff", he told me a lot about it.

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