To Be the Parent of a Franklinite (take two!)
Mom and Dad.
Hello everyone! I hope you have been having a lovely week -- we got heaps of snow this past weekend here in Lugano which has turned campus into a winter wonderland. I actually got a chance to escape the snow and head to Barcelona to see my wonderful parents who were visiting there. I thought it might be interesting for the blog, and for prospective students who might be reading, to ask them some questions about what they've thought about my experience here at Franklin so far. I thought after three years they might have something to say as Franklin parents!
So, a little background. I'm the oldest of three children, my sister is 18 and a freshman at University of San Diego, and my brother is 15 and a freshman in high school. I grew up mainly in Boston, but I also spent time in high school living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, studying Spanish. We have also gone back and forth to Switzerland my whole life, but my mom will elaborate on that! I was the first child my parents had to send off to college so I'm sure the process was extra stressful, but we got through it just fine. Without further ado... my parents, Susan and Greg.
Hi Mom and Dad! Thank you for doing this. First of all, what were your initial thoughts when I told you I was applying to Franklin?
Susan: I was thrilled for you! Our family has always placed a strong emphasis on travel and we tried to take you to cool and interesting places your entire childhood. It was pretty rewarding to hear that our travels had rubbed off on you and that you wanted to continue your adventure. I could see you at any of the schools you had applied to - Bowdoin College in Maine, University of Vermont, Denver University, and Lewis and Clark in Portland, Oregon - but when you told me about Franklin, I could also see you there. You've always been adventurous and outdoorsy, and your college selections were a reflection of that, and it seemed to me like Franklin could offer you both as well, while also incorporating an international experience. My mom is Swiss, and we love Switzerland, we all consider it a second home, especially Luzern, where she's from. I was nervous of course, and wanted to learn more about the school, but my gut told me that if you were brave enough to apply and could really see yourself following through and attending this university, then I had to be brave too - for you and for myself.
Greg: Admittedly, I was a little more skeptical. I wanted to make sure that it was as good of a choice as you made it sound, and that you weren't just caught up in the moment and excited. However, after talking with Franklin alumni and faculty, and doing a little more research on the school's website, I realized how unique of an opportunity it would be for you and how much you could gain from it. I knew that you would more likely than not be heading to Lewis and Clark, and distance wise it was pretty similar from Boston, so the fact that Franklin was in Europe didn't matter too much. In fact, I was already looking forward to visiting Lugano often, even before you committed!
Once I committed to Franklin, did anything really worry you about the process of me attending?
Susan: Not really. I will say this - if you can, pay a visit to Lugano and to campus before first-year orientation. I needed to visualize the school and see if I could truly see Morgan there, so I flew her and myself over in March to look at campus and make sure it was what she wanted. Even though we were only in Lugano for a couple of days, that trip reassured me that this was the right call. She also seemed a lot more relieved about her decision once she had walked around campus and met a few students and professors.
Greg: College is such an enormous transitional period in anybody's life, regardless of whether you attend community college or a school in Europe. I was worried about you making that transition in general, and then the fact that you would do it in a different country where the native tongue isn't English made me a bit more worried. However, with Skype, Facetime, Facebook and so many other technologies today, I knew that you would be able to reach us anytime with any major concerns, and knowing that Switzerland is only a flight away from us in Boston made me feel more comfortable. As an aside, sometimes I think I speak to you more in Switzerland than I do with your sister, who is only in California!
What is the best part about me attending Franklin?
Susan: Your life is SO cool. You have had so many once in a lifetime adventures at only 20 years old! I have always loved how you have seized the day in any situation, but you truly nailed the whole college experience on the head by incorporating one of our biggest passions, travel, with a fantastic education. Your stories blow me away and make me so happy to hear you sound so happy. And I believe your education, for what you want to do (International Business), is superior as you have so many global events happening around you on a daily basis.
Greg: I'm just jealous I didn't attend! I think the best part is seeing how much you have grown in the past three years. You have become such a confident, positive, and well-spoken young woman and in part that is due to your environment, and the type of people that surround you at school. Your maturity and experiences are well beyond your years.
Has it gotten any easier to send me off to school each August and January?
Susan: Absolutely. We have always thought of your time away as 'just four months at a time', and when you break it down that way it's a lot easier to digest sending your child to Europe. I believe we have all grown a lot from your experience at Franklin, and I've learned to trust you more, and know that if you don't call me right away when your plane lands, it's because you've done this so many times, and you're just tired - not because you're in trouble and don't need help! Our relationship with Franklin has grown and strengthened over the past three years as well, and we now know just how big of an opportunity it is for you to grow and see the world.
Greg: It definitely has, but we still miss you! To see you so happy and thriving, and to know that you will be going on Academic Travel to incredible places, and be taking side trips as well with your friends, makes us so relieved you chose Franklin. If you had chosen a school in the States I really don't think you would have been as satisfied with your college experience.
What is it like to have a child who made such an out-of-the-box college choice?
Susan: It definitely can be hard, especially when some of my friends are able to take their children out to dinner regularly, or have them come home for long weekends. It's hard knowing that it is often months before we see each other, although your Dad and I do try to come over at least once a semester. But I know that even though I miss out on weekends with you I can't be selfish. You are having the time of your life, and we have the rest of our lives to see each other!
Greg: I'm very proud of it. I love talking about your experience and the way it has influenced our entire family. I think it is so brave that you chose Franklin and I always try to get other students to apply. It is harder, that's for sure, but it is hard and good. We miss you, of course, but it is so comforting to know how satisfied you are with your experience so far, and that satisfies us as well.
Any other thoughts for future Franklin families, or advice you wish you had received?
Susan: Just know that if your child is confident enough in his or herself in order to make the leap and attend Franklin, it is so much better for the entire family to have excitement trump fear. Once we stopped questioning the decision and started thinking about what exactly this meant for Morgan, it was much easier to process her attending Franklin! It is such a once in a lifetime opportunity and such a unique school, that I urge all students to at least try it for a semester, and see how it goes. Transferring is easy nowadays, and it's better to at least give it a shot! Also, when you breakdown Franklin to semesters, you are only really sending him/her off for a couple of months, and it is only a flight or two away from home! You won't regret sending your child to Franklin, at least in my opinion.
Greg: Know that you are signing yourself and your child up for an adventure! Lugano is an amazing place to visit and it's so special to share your child's college experience with them when it is in such a fantastic location. I would recommend, if you can, dropping them off during first-year orientation - it is comforting to both parent and child! But in general, I would say just because it isn't a typical choice for a school, don't let that hinder your child's decision-making process, as it's actually so brave and unique of your child to want to come to Franklin! Nothing was ever gained from staying the same, right?
Thanks Mom and Dad for your valuable insights on Franklin. I know that I wouldn't be here without your support and positive energy and it is much appreciated.
If you have any questions for me or my parents, leave them in the comments section and we'll get back to you! We are here to help :)