A father takes a photo of his daughter with an iPad during graduation
Parent Survival Guide

You can see the bottom of your laundry room floor. You don't have someone asking you for gas money weekly. And your student's bedroom is empty.

Yes, college is a big change for your son or daughter. But it is a change for you, as well.

So what do you do with your newfound freedom? And how much help should you give your daughter or son now that they are on the road to becoming an adult? Of course, that is for you to decide. But this section of the Web site is to give you advice through this transition.

Yes, college is a time for change. But don't worry, that laundry room floor will have clothes on it soon enough - most likely the next time your child comes home for the weekend.


You got them through high school. Whew!

But how will you guide them now that they are at college? CMU experts are here to help.

Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best way to handle move-in day? What can I, as a parent, do to make sure things go as smoothly as possible?

"As difficult as it may be for parents (I am a parent too, so I understand) to say goodbye to their son or daughter, it is important to remember that this truly is your student's day - and be as excited and supportive of them as you can be."

"Another thing to keep in mind is that even though our residence hall rooms are among the largest in the state of Michigan, they are still much smaller than your child is probably used to. So encourage your student to coordinate who is bringing what items prior to move-in day because in addition to your son or daughter's stuff, the roommates will more than likely have many things to bring."

"Since most of our students return home for the long Labor Day weekend, it is a good time to return duplicates or pick up additional items. Remind your student that he or she will be here for two 16-week semesters, so the room doesn't have to get settled immediately - there is plenty of time to get it just right."

"Thanks for this opportunity to provide your son or daughter their 'home away from home.'" - Joan M. Schmidt, Residence Life associate director

What advice can I give my son or daughter when he or she is unsure of what to major in?

"Reassure your son or daughter that the process of deciding on a major takes time. CMU's degrees allow students time to fulfill university general education requirements while deciding on the major."

"In the meantime, tell your student about the full range of services offered to aid him or her making that decision. Career and academic advisors provide individual assistance and suggest exploration and career-based activities designed to help students focus on major and career issues. Other advice you might give them is to enroll in CED 101, a 1-credit career exploration course, or to complete some self assessment inventories designed to match interests and abilities with academic and career opportunities. Students can always talk with faculty in the areas of interest, and then doing a related internship to make sure that career is the right choice."

"Your student must have his or her major signed by the time he or she has completed 56 credit hours - which is junior status. So don't worry! The freshman and sophomore years provide many opportunities to clarify this important decision." - Michelle Howard, Academic Advising and Assistance director

What can I do to get my student involved with CMU, so that he or she can enhance the college experience?

"Encourage your student to attend campus events such as concerts, CMU athletic games, theatre productions, and lectures. Talk to them about participating in any of the 250 clubs, organizations, and academic honoraries open to students at CMU. Getting involved provides students with valuable leadership, teamwork, and social skills that are very important to employers."

"Attending college should be a very academically and socially rewarding experience. At CMU, your student can experience all that a major university has to offer, but they need your encouragement and support to do so. Ask your student what they are doing to become an involved and connected student at Central." - Anthony Voisin, Office of Student Life, director​​​