Sarah Rainey - Fun Picture

Sarah Rainey, 2021-2022 Editor-in-Chief

Hi there, Vol Parents!

As the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beacon, I am happy to offer you a warm welcome to Rocky Top. Your children have already survived an entire month of college, which is something to be immensely proud of.

College can be hard, for parents and students alike. For many parents, this is the first time your child or children have been away from home for such an extended period of time. For several freshmen, they have never lived on their own until now.

A lot comes with a student arriving to college for the first time. They are in a new environment where they will meet new people and have new experiences that could change their lives forever. College classes are often entirely different from high school classes as well, and there is usually a heaping pile of assignments, readings, projects, quizzes and exams that students are left unprepared to face.

However, for the parents of those students, this is a really difficult time of letting go. Perhaps your child still lives at home and is able to commute to campus, or maybe you live across the country and your child has traveled all the way to Knoxville, Tennessee, to embark on their college journey. No matter where your child comes from, they have all arrived here at the University of Tennessee.

This campus has 30,000 students and hundreds of organizations to join, along with some fun, rigorous, exciting and challenging courses to take. Your child will discover new interests in their time here, and they will probably change their major at least once — or maybe four times. If I had to give you a piece of advice, though, I would suggest to not let this stress you out. College is a time to find yourself, and maybe your child needs to find themselves two or three times before they get it right.

There is nothing wrong with making mistakes, and your child will probably have their fair share in college. Maybe they will skip a few classes they probably shouldn’t have skipped, or not study as hard as they could on an exam or even make some decisions that aren’t entirely ideal. This is a part of growing up, maturing and figuring out the real world in general, and mistakes are necessary for them to learn from in order to do things differently in the future.

Also, there are numerous amazing resources here at UT for your child. From the Center for Career Development if they are deciding whether to change their major one more time, to the Student Health Center if they are feeling unwell, to The Daily Beacon newspaper if they are wondering what is going on, on campus or in Knoxville, to the numerous professors, advisors and mentors they will encounter that will offer them advice and guidance when they need it.

I know that your child will have so many opportunities here at UT. Encourage your college student to try new things and to give their best effort in all that they do and to do what makes them happy. I promise that everything is going to be just fine.

I hope you enjoy your time here on Rocky Top!

Sarah Rainey


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