Advice For Incoming Families — From Parents Who Have Been There

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We asked current parents, What is one piece of advice you would share with a parent/guardian of an incoming first-year or transfer student? Their helpful responses ranged from practical to metaphorical. 

Don’t blink! The four years will go by incredibly quickly. Visit your student often and explore the beautiful and peaceful area of Central N.Y.
–Lee Hendrickson (Molly ’22) 

“My advice for incoming students is this: wool socks. Frigid October to May Hamilton winters are made for wool socks, warm boots, hats, and coats. I also offer “wool sock” advice as a reminder to remain grounded and move ahead mindfully, one step at a time through each day, week, semester, and year. Each step will offer gifts; some of them like new friends, ideas, and experiences will be welcomed. Other gifts, difficult challenges both in and out of the classroom, will not initially be perceived the same way. Yet, each set of gifts will contribute to the growth, actualization, and authentication of your true self. Colgate’s campus is a fine-tuned system of support, guidance, and help when needed. It is there to be sought out. Seek it. Check in with your parents/guardians now and then. They cannot wear your socks for you. Figure things out on your own whenever possible. Finally, smile and say “hi” to everyone you pass. They, too, are trying to keep their feet warm and dry.”
–Natalie M. Criscione (Paul ’23 and Francis ’21)

Join the Colgate parent Facebook page. Having joined myself when our daughter was an incoming freshman it felt like my life line to the university.

“Trust your students to work through their own problems, especially dorm related ones. For example, all the washing machines are broken, or no hot water, or where is the lost and found.”
–Cindy Arcery (Ilia ’24)

They can figure most everything out without parental guidance nor interference. If your child is at Colgate, they are not only an adult, but a smart adult. Let them develop, sink, swim, etc.
–Jim Frank (Morgan ’24)

Lots of ups, but there are going to be downs. Have a plan. Encourage your student to get to know their professors, make use of the counseling center, reach out to their link leader, communicate with their academic dean, and GET INVOLVED.

“Embrace all that is Colgate and Hamilton, N.Y. Breathe in and enjoy every moment, love the moments as they are so tremendously fleeting. To the students: Go to everything — I mean EVERYTHING. Alone or with someone, but go, get out of your room, your house, your head and just do everything that is offered. Gallery showings, plays, concerts, hockey, football, soccer, rugby, lacrosse, and baseball games, swim meets, tennis matches — your peers need fans. Even if they don’t know you, they love to see and hear you. Eat at Frank even if you don’t want to. You’ll enjoy the walk, fresh air, and seeing people you know and don’t know yet. To the Parents: don’t be complainy. Period.” 
–Lisa Michael (Maximilian ’19)

Trust the process. 
–Anne Connerty (Michael ’24)