Parents: What's Next?


One thing parents and guardians always seem to ask is "What is my role now?" Those roles change over time. College can bring big changes to your relationship with your child- young adult.

Now, it is important to recognize that students experience the changes that college brings at different times and to differing extents. Many students seek to become more independent, autonomous, and competent. They may not make choices in the most efficient manner, or in a way that you totally understand, but with encouragement and support, most students make it through the process successfully. This is a natural part of life- the development from adolescence to adulthood- and it can be challenging to both the student and to their parents. The challenges your student will face will help broaden his/her world of experience. Meeting these challenges will be his/her "job" for the next few years. As parents of SUNY Oneonta students, we hope you will encourage your student to seek a balance between academics and extra-curricular activities. Participation in student activities outside of class helps many students to manage their time better, and leads to a rewarding and successful college experience.

The college expects students to take an active role in their education and, therefore, students must assume responsibility for their own academic path as well as social decisions. Students will be treated as adults who, with the aid of their families and the college community, will continue to develop the knowledge, maturity, and self-discipline necessary for their future lives. Students should familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations that they will be held to as members of the SUNY Oneonta community, for example, the Code of Student Conduct and the Residence Hall License (if they are living on campus).

The Office of New Student Services not only provides assistance to new students but also to their parents/guardians and can serve as a resource for both groups. It is our mission to provide key information to parents/guardians in order to give them the tools to be a support network for their individual students.

There are many books out there that speak to how to deal with this type of transition. Some that the staff in the New Student Services Office have read are:

  • Don't Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money by Helen E. Johnson and Christine Schelhas-Miller
  • The Launching Years: Strategies for Parenting from Senior Year to College Life by Laura Kastner, PhD., and Jeniifer Wyatt, PhD.
  • You're on Your Own (but I'm here if you need me) by Marjorie Savage
  • Empty Nest... Full Heart by Andrea Van Steenhouse, PhD.

(this is the opinion of a few staff members and NOT a complete list)