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Throwback Thursday: Some Advice to HSU Parents By: Alex Guillory

In a time filled with Life360, phone calls and parents just a text away, many kids go to college still under the firm finger of their parents back home.

In a 2009 publication of The Brand, regional editor Callie Rankin wrote a column advising the parents of Hardin-Simmons University students. She presented the advice in a do-and-don’t format.

She opens with three “do” suggestions: “DO teach financial responsibility…DO offer reasonable advice…DO send care packages now and then.”

I love these pieces of advice that parents could take that would make a positive impact on their child’s life at college. College students need a lot of support, and their parents taking the time to give them a call with some laundry advice or send a care package full of yummy snacks could make a world of difference in the student’s life. When a parent might be tempted to send an angry text after checking Life360 about their kid not being at school, they instead could call them and make sure they are okay and see if they are having fun with new friends.

Rankin ends the column with three crucial “don’t” suggestions: “DON’T call every six hours…DON’T encourage your child to come home to visit before staying for at least a month…DON’T rush to the rescue….”

I think the first “don’t” can be applied in today's world to parents checking their kid’s location every 30 minutes. The second “don’t” is one that I wish every freshman's parent would hear because the first month of school is vital to first-year students. After all, it’s where they learn how to truly be independent, make friends and navigate their newfound freedom.

The first two pieces of advice wonderfully tie into Rankin’s final plea to parents for them to let their child struggle before racing to rescue them. It is an important part of growing up and maturing in college to learn how to deal with issues and obstacles in life independently.

I love Rankin’s column of advice to college parents, and I feel it needed to be brought back into the light in this week’s publication. As college students, our parents are some of our biggest supporters, but sometimes they need help letting their kids go and thus grow independently.


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