Editor’s note: We enlisted the help of our student workers here in the Admissions office to write a blog post summarizing, curating and—as Lawrentians often do—putting their own whimsical take on the results of a survey we sent to parents and guardians of incoming Lawrentians, asking them questions about the college search process, their hopes for (and nerves on behalf of) their students, and a handful of other curiosities. Without further introduction, we’ll hand you off to our students and your responses. (Thanks, Katie, John, Sophie, Joe, Suzanne, Hitkarsh, and Lauren.)
Now that move-in day is behind us and classes are underway, we wanted to get back in touch with all of our parents to let you know what we learned from the parents’ survey the admissions staff conducted earlier this summer.
We read every single response to the parent surveys, and we were struck with the sheer amount of optimism we saw. Yes, there were some nerves from parents about whether their kids could successfully navigate an unfamiliar place and wake up for class on time. But almost every single response we read was tinged with an extraordinary sense of pride and delight. Many of you touted not just your students’ accolades (first chair in the orchestra, 4.0 GPA, etc), but their strength as individuals. Lawrentians—your children included—are unique, compassionate, intellectual, and multi-talented. You might even describe them (and us) as ‘buoyant.’
College is going to be an experience like none before. Our ideas are challenged, life philosophies shifted, and self-perceptions altered. What defines us as both college students and Lawrentians is our ability to adjust, grow stronger, and continue on.
But from what we can tell about your enthusiastic responses, you already knew that.
So, here’s to an exciting and inspiring next four years. (Or five, for our parents five-year, double-degree students.)
Be well and do well,
Hitkarsh Chanana ‘18
Suzanne Hones ‘17
Joe Johnson ‘17
Lauren McLester-Davis ‘18
Katie Nelson ‘17
Sophie Penniman ‘19
John Perkins ‘18
We had a great time reading your responses to the survey, and we’ve compiled some of our favorites below. (We should note that some responses have been lightly edited for length/clarity/anonymity.)
What did you enjoy about the college search process?
- I loved learning more about our daughter. I found out that she’s a listmaker, she’s an airline schedule-checker, a communicator, and that she really does a good job of managing her time.
- I enjoyed watching my son get excited about his future, and watching as he imagined himself on campus. I will say that the football coaches at LU were top notch. They made my son feel so special, and I think they sealed the deal for him.
- Watching him figure it out. We supported him in deciding what was important for him: small size/relationship with professors, strong sciences, rural/small town. It all came from his own sense of himself. That made me happy.
- To be honest, the whole process lends itself to stress. Which college to pick, will they be accepted, monetary questions, etc. I think that getting accepted was the most enjoyable part. 🙂
What is your student’s biggest achievement so far?
- [Our student] was chosen to represent [our] tribe at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference. 40 young people were chosen from over 500 different tribes to attend in Washington D.C.
- She has been a terrific friend to others, honest and genuine and caring, and I am very proud of her for that achievement.
- Besides getting into Lawrence and the Conservatory? I’d say it’s the fact that she’s pursuing her dream of being a professional musician.
- The list is endless, but one big general achievement comes to mind: that she set her mind on college in the US when she was 11.
- She has developed into a young adult who is empathetic, caring, and optimistic about her role in the world. Yes, she excelled in school, music, and speech–but her development as a human has been really cool to witness.
We all hope for the best… about what are you most hopeful for your student at Lawrence?
- That he blossoms. That he tries new things. That he finds things to get passionate about. That he finds a supportive community to help him do these things.
- That they will grow more as an individual and continue to strengthen their voice for advocacy. I would like them to find a place with like minds that support them, but also that push them to think beyond their current limits.
- I hope that LU offers her an opportunity to do some dabbling and to develop into the full Renaissance woman I know she is….I hope it will help her see beyond herself.
- I hope he finds a professor that will inspire and challenge him to maximize what he is capable of.
- I hope she continues on her path of being a leader by example and learns from the people around her.
- I hope Lawrence will draw out the best my child has to offer the world and that he will understand the rights and responsibilities that come with a degree from Lawrence.
What are you nervous about?
- That he will love Wisconsin and never live close to us again!
- I hope her physical and mental health stay strong, and that she finds balance.
- I’m actually not nervous. I’m excited. Really. Truly. I think our daughter’s going to do cool and exciting things, stuff she’s never even thought of before! I cannot WAIT to see what she’ll do! Oh wait — I’m aleetle nervous about her Dad and I — we’re about to be empty nesters!
- Letting go of my first born. I know LU is a rigorous program, and I want him to find balance and know that we love and support him every step of the way.
What is your favorite thing about Lawrence?
- That you look at education in a holistic manner; not just regurgitating information and data, but teaching students how to think for themselves in an ever-evolving society.
- We love LU. The close-knit family atmosphere of the campus, the low student to teacher ratio, that individual attention, and the fact that everyone is extremely helpful.
- The staff has been phenomenal. From the staff in the admissions office to the LU football staff, I cannot say enough for how they have gone above and beyond. I feel like my child is already part of the Lawrence University Family.
- My favorite thing about Lawrence is my conservatory student can still get an outstanding liberal arts education. People often ask me what kind of living can he make if he majors in euphonium performance? The answer is simple – what kind of life will he have if he does not?
- The community just feels right – smart, caring, interesting, engaged – all without being pretentious.
- We all think Lawrence will give him the best opportunity to be the very best version of himself.