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The Thuman Family's First-Year Experience

The Thurman family on move-in/check-in day 2012
The Thurman Family on move-in/check-in day 2012

My husband and I have one daughter, and she is our only child. Empty nest was hard on us— prior to college the three of us did everything together. The summer before Bellarmine, all my daughter talked about was how ready she was to go away.  However, the day we moved her to Bellarmine she had a hard time dealing with it—she suddenly realized everything was changing and broke down into tears. Although I myself would cry later on our drive home, at that moment I put on my "mom" face, told her it was going to be great, and would even probably be the best time of her life. Since that day, she has come a long way and absolutely loves Bellarmine. She has met some wonderful lifetime friends and loves living on campus.  

During her first year away, my husband and I tried to keep as busy as we could. You could say we got a new start together as a married couple as we coped with our only child no longer living at home. We would also visit Bellarmine, take our daughter out to eat, and catch up with her. During conversations the first few months, we just assured her that we were okay and she would be too. It is interesting how the dynamics of our relationship have changed—it is even better than it was before, as I value more the time I do spend with her.  

My advice to first-time parents who are transitioning their children from high school to college is to give them space and let them figure out how to deal with their new lifestyle. I was expecting five or six texts a day and many phone calls; however, I was happy to get a nightly text on how she was doing and a few phone calls a week.  Also, I would advise parents to keep busy and try to stay focused and try to work on a new hobby. For example, I have a huge tub of pictures that I have managed to sort out and get ready to put in albums. We also got a new puppy in addition to the two dogs we already have, but this may not be for everyone! Bellarmine is a wonderful place, and I am not dreading this fall nearly as much as last year. I will be very sad when she goes back, but I do believe I will adjust better this time and I know she will! Good luck to you!  

Julie Thurman

Mother of Rising Bellarmine Sophomore

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