Resource Center Coordinator
Career & Academic Planning
James Madison University
Having had the privilege of working with many college students, I have been most encouraged by students’ abilities to question, dream the incomprehensible, take risks and upon these experiences, begin to build a future through each difficult decision making opportunity. As we provide them with a multitude of services, programs and resources, their most urgent requirement remains positive regard.
I have journeyed with my son through many, many academic, career, and life choices. I understand some of his choices and can only wonder about others. Students will explore many avenues and need to feel confident in their ability to meet life’s changing demands. Sometimes they even need to “let go” of a clearly defined path that just doesn’t make sense anymore, no matter how strong the original conviction might have been.
For me personally, I have found “I believe in you” in thought, word and deed, to be the most effective tool I have in my parenting bag. This is not a naïve statement. Life presents bills to be paid, responsibilities to be shouldered and issues to be dealt with fairly. I do not know how my son’s story will end. But if he knows I believe in him, trust his decision making and support learning wrong turns, this is the best I can do as a parent. Step back, be clearly present, advise when asked and cheer risking failure as well as success.
I hope your journey with your student here at JMU is an enriching adventure. It is a privilege to be invited to share in their future.