The Mudd Family
Our names are David and Joanie Mudd. We are the proud parents of Thomas Mudd. His major is Exercise Science, and he hopes to get accepted into the Physical Therapy program at Bellarmine. Thomas lived on campus his first year and plans on staying there until he graduates because it is “just so convenient.” We live in Bardstown, Kentucky, which is only about an hour from Bellarmine, but Thomas rarely came home at all his freshman year. I am not sure if this was good or bad: Were we such bad parents that he did not want to come home? Or, were we such good parents that we prepared him well for the college life? We prefer to think the latter!
Thomas is the youngest of our three children. Our older two both attend the University of Kentucky and will both graduate next year. So, the college life is old hat to us, but the Bellarmine family is totally new. We knew Thomas’ first year at Bellarmine was going to be different for us. Mainly, we were unsure because this was our youngest, and we were afraid we might not have cut the infamous "apron strings" early enough. We wondered: “Is this child ready to go and face college life, with all of its decisions, temptations, and time management?” He had a lot of growing up to do.
Surprisingly to us, Thomas kept us up to date on meetings the parents needed to attend, filled out all paperwork needed, got all records together--everything. I know not all incoming freshmen are like that, but I think it is good for parents to encourage their kids to take initiative on college matters early on. We got all of his room necessities and books well in advance so that he could relax and feel like everything was under control. Organization and being well-informed helped us a lot and are the keys to making freshman year run more smoothly in our opinion. The parent meetings, luncheons, and tours of campus were a tremendous help to making us all feel more comfortable.
Bellarmine University has been absolutely wonderful for Thomas! He has gotten so involved in campus life, which we are rather surprised about. He used to be one of those children that we had to push sometimes and was a procrastinator, but that has changed. Every time we received a notice from Bellarmine that different groups or activities were offered, we would call him to ask him about it, trying to nudge him along. Now all we hear is, “I’ve already done that,” and we are just amazed!
Since Thomas was the last to leave for college, that left us with “empty nest syndrome.” We traveled with soccer and basketball games for over eighteen years total with our three children. Now what are we supposed to do? Well, one year has now passed and I still do not have that answer. Of course, we miss him and his siblings, but it is sometimes nice coming home from work and just relaxing. So, if anyone has any great hobbies, call us. We are open for ideas, and we now have time to go and do things!
David always said, “Let him figure it out on his own,” and I guess I have to learn to do that now that I know he can. He has become a dependable young adult who is proud to say that he attends Bellarmine University.
David and Joanne Mudd
Parents of Rising Junior, Thomas Mudd