We're thrilled to introduce you to our 1st JWU parent blogger, Gerri Igler. The Igler's youngest daughter, JWU Providence culinary student Kirsten'19, is thriving at school, but she also happens to be hours away from home. How does a concerned mother cope?
Our older daughter attended college in our home state, only 30 minutes from our house. I remember thinking, I can run over there anytime should she need anything, doesn’t feel well, or even grab her laundry and bring it back to her (what was I thinking???). I could run to get her should there be a super storm, snow storm or other incident that closed the school.
Our younger daughter was determined to attend Johnson & Wales in Providence, her first choice, and approximately a 3.5 hour drive on a good day. On drop-off day, we cried in the parking lot saying good-bye. I cried the entire trip home.
We kept in touch as much as possible without impacting her schedule, activities or studies. She joined a club or two and didn’t really speak much about that. She tried out for a few things and did not ‘make the cut’ although she stayed focused and in good spirits.
We did not pry.
We wanted her to make her own path, do her own thing, basically, begin to take hold of her future. We always reassured her we are just a phone call or text away (and a minimum 3 hr. drive).
There were several opportunities to get to visit, the first one for us being Family Weekend. It was great to see her, in her own environment. We met several of her new friends, and she seemed to be comfortable, as comfortable can be for a first-year student in a university the size of Johnson & Wales' Providence Campus.
I wasn’t really happy unless I heard from her every day. She really didn’t mind texting a ‘good morning’ or ‘sweet dreams’ to us. If I had a dollar for every time she said ‘I know Mom,’ I could probably retire.
So you know the expression – ‘Time flies’? Fast forward 1 year to now, where my daughter remains focused, happy and is doing well academically. This is the environment that JWU provides. With new roommates, new location, it’s exciting to see her reach for goals and accomplish them. We see her getting involved in different activities, joining new groups and switching majors to one that she truly loves.
Almost finished with her sophomore year, it brings a tear of joy to see our daughter making decisions on her own, taking charge of her future and most of all, enjoying it all! We still get the occasional ‘I know Mom’.
We are so excited to see what the next year has to offer!
Wildcat parents and families may get involved by serving on the JWU Parent & Family Advisory Board (PFAB). Learn more on our website.