Having worked in higher education for over 30 years, I thought I knew it all. However, last fall I became a Clemson Mom and that opened my eyes to an entirely new perspective. From one Clemson parent to another, I’d like to share some of my experience with you.
My son received a longboard (skateboard) as a high school graduation present. There have been many sightings of him gliding to class yet no sightings of him wearing a helmet. He also rents a bike from Campus Recreation and rides it, helmetless! I raised this child to ALWAYS wear a helmet whether he was biking, skating or skiing, as I’m sure many of you have done with your children.
I often see students doing things that are antithetical. I’ve met some of their parents, so I know they were taught differently. No matter what, our children are going to use college to test their boundaries, and as good parents, we will be there to pick them up. I’m grateful he also has Redfern and their medical services to tend to his accidents on the days I cannot!
I am also thankful for everything else Clemson has to offer my son. He has an RA that cares about and mentors him. He is involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Clemson Outdoor Recreation and Education, which have allowed him to make wonderful friends who are around him when he falls. His professors and advisers have challenged him in ways he would have never dreamed. When he is unhappy or dissatisfied with a service, he knows the vice president for Student Affairs is available and trying to fix the issue. And from time to time, he even lets me be his mom and talk him through big decisions and struggles, including taking summer classes to have a lighter load during football season!
Being a Clemson parent is one of the greater experiences I’ve had as a mom. I hope Clemson and Student Affairs have fostered a comforting first year for you and your child as well. The next time you see a student gliding without a helmet on, please encourage him to wear one! It just might be my son.
Gail A. DiSabatino
Vice President for Student Affairs
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