During a presentation on acclimating to their new environment, student leaders of this summer’s Parent and Family Orientation reminded parents that it is perfectly normal to feel like they are not making friends right off the bat.
“It’s always good to try and meet as many people as possible,” said Rising LSA Junior and orientation leader Jeremy Martin. “But don’t worry if the first people you talk to at lunch aren’t your best friends for the rest of your life.”
Martin told reporters that he often sees parents disappointed when they come in with the mindset that they are going to make lifelong friends within the first days or even hours of being at the University.
Martin added that while some parents are “just naturally social butterflies,” others take longer to adjust and may not even stray from mingling with their own spouses or children.
While the University organizes various icebreaker activities for parents to get to know each other including movie nights and stargazing in the planetarium, they want to assure parents that they should not feel discouraged if they fail to make any lasting connections at these events.
“The best advice we can give parents is to just be themselves and then let friends come naturally,” said University Spokesperson Jennifer Jacobs. “There’s really no point in stressing about it, especially since they’re only here for a couple days and also they’ll literally never see these people again in their lives.”
The presentation maintained that while it may seem like others are meeting their best friends right away, most will likely not even stay in contact after they return to their busy adult lives.
The University is currently working on an interactive online course to teach parent orientees how to safely and responsibly consume alcohol now that they have no kids at the house to worry about.