This month's article is a compilation of "nuggets of wisdom" from current Illinois
Wesleyan Parent Board members. It is primarily intended to guide incoming students
and their parents, but we hope everyone with a student enrolled at IWU can take something
away from the sage advice of our contributors.
Mother of Thomas '12
"Take/make opportunities to meet other parents and share experiences and information.
Share what you learn about IWU with your student. Encourage him or her to participate
in academic and social opportunities and to make use of available administrative services.
Let your student know that University faculty and employees are there to help and
support him or her."
Father of Thomas '12
"Be involved in some way, like with the Parent Board, etc. to give you an additional
connection with the University beyond your child. It enriches your experience with
the time you are connected with IWU."
Father of Brent '08 and Drew '13
"Make double-sure that your son or daughter doesn't over-schedule themselves. There
is so much they can get involved in, but SHOULD they? All of our kids were high achievers
in high school, and they will be tempted to say yes to everything that comes their
way. They will have a pretty heavy homework load at IWU, and they do still need "down
time" to just be themselves. That said, I'd advise students to also take part in
social events that they might not be sure about. College is a time to grow and find
out who you are; kids might be surprised that they like things they didn't know they
Father of Lindsay '13
St. Charles, IL
"Help your kids understand that, at Illinois Wesleyan, the professors want to get
to know them. Among the reasons they teach at Wesleyan is because of the small school
environment and their ability to interact with students. This immersion will eventually
occur, but the sooner it does, the better your kids will do in school and the more
they'll enjoy the experience. By chance, my daughter ended up sitting next to one
of her professors at an off-campus concert during her freshmen year – and found out
that professors weren’t so stodgy after all!"
Mother of Charon '12
"Maintain dialogue with your child. Parents sometimes mistakenly think they no longer
need to actively participate in their child's life, but they are wrong. Their child
is just off to college and not yet grown. They do not understand how to tackle many
obstacles they will encounter. They still need their parent's involvement.
Mother of Rob '13
"Let your child set the "pace" for speaking by phone - one can always e-mail or text,
giving the student autonomy for responding."
Mother of Amanda '12
"Despite our students use of text, e-mail, Facebook and Skype to stay in contact with
everyone, an old-fashioned letter is still in style. In my daughter's first year
I got in the habit of sending her a weekly postcard with a few bits of news or words
of encouragement. The card may have been from someplace we traveled together or a
painting that reminded me of her. When she returned for her sophomore year, I thought
she didn't need a weekly reminder that she was missed and loved -- she let me know
Mother of Amanda '12
Downers Grove, IL
"Know who to call. Familiarize yourself with the resources available at IWU. Parents
best assist their children by helping them to help themselves. We all can do this
by knowing who to refer them to on campus, whether it’s the resident advisor in their
dorm, the nurse practitioner at Arnold Health Services or a counselor in the counseling
center in Magill Hall."
Mother of Tony '13
"Be patient with your child as he or she adjusts to their new life. Don't be offended
or worried if your child doesn't respond when you call, text or e-mail. They are
just very busy with their classes, homework and social life. Give them space and
time and you will see that your relationship with your son or daughter will be on
a more mature level by the time summer rolls around. Also, have faith knowing that
your child is in a very good place at Illinois Wesleyan."
Ginny and Bill Peterson
Parents of Ryan '08 and Chris '11
"We strongly recommend that parents encourage their sons or daughters to take full
advantage of the Hart Career Center at IWU. They will receive valuable assistance
with selecting a major, writing a resume, preparing for an interview, searching for
an internship and preparing for graduate school. The guidance that our two sons have
received from the staff has been priceless."
Mother of Debbie '13
"Be informed of what is happening with your individual student and with IWU in general."
Mother of Michael '13 and Jacqueline '14
"Make sure your son/daughter has either a copy of their medical insurance card or
the information written down somewhere in case they need to use medical facilities
outside the campus. Our son had to be sent outside the school's on-site facility
and did not have either a card, copy or the information written down. The information
was in his file at the University, but the Arnold Health Service had to contact us,
his parents, to get the information from us."