Jun 18 2006

Last New Student Orientation

After being an Orientation Leader for 3 summers and my final summer as a student of Plymouth State University, I am doing Orientation with ITS. Over the years, I have realized a lot about how the evolution of humans works, in a very wide sense.


Many students leave High School and they are unsure of what they plan on doing for the next few years. Some go off into the real world and get jobs, others go into the military and for most, and they go off to College ready to begin the next chapter of their lives. Are they ready? Most likely they are not, but they are willing to make the sacrifice and see where life takes them. However, there are some road blocks that are not allowing them to make their own mistakes, learn from them and grow as a person. One of the major road blocks that I have seen is not their knowledge, not their willingness to take chances, but the parents of those students.

Over the last few years, many of the parents that come with their students to Orientation have this feeling that their kid will not make it in this world without them and it is their job to protect their kids for as long as they can. Well, now is that time to pull out those scissors and cut the string, let me rephrase that, pull out the chainsaw and cut the 3 foot wide rope that they have on their children. Parents: Come September, your kids will be on their own and will not have you by their side every minute of every day. They are going to have to adapt to this change and be an adult, some for the first time in their lives. Students: Do not let your parents do everything for you because you are further participating in the deep hole that some parents can set you in.

In an article on the “The Bryan-College Station Eagle”, Family Matters section, there is an awesome article about Helicopter Parents called What Are The Latest Accessories College Students Are Bringing To School? Their Parents!


Some parents love fighting with the people running Orientation, Orientation Leaders and even the administration to get their point across about how they need to be more knowledgeable about their son or daughters information because they pay the bills. Now that is completely understandable, but the law protects the students against that happening for a reason. FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) that was established in 1974 does not allow a parent or guardian access to any information about their child unless the child gives their parents written permission. Many parents think that it is there right to know and will go on about how unbelievable the school is being, but they donâ??t understand that it is not a rule of the school; the federal government made it a law which the school is required to follow.

No names mentioned, but while doing orientation today for ITS, my job was to help Students log into the myPlymouth portal to make sure they were ready for the next day when they had to register for classes. When I asked one of the girls I she had logged into myPlymouth, the father spoke up and said yes. I asked her again and the father didnâ??t understand when he had just told me yes. The father responded by saying, â??I just told you that I logged her into myPlymouth before and that she is all set.â? I had explained to him that his daughter would be the one logging into the portal in the morning and not him so I wanted her to make sure she could. I told her what her username was and the protocol for the default password and when that didnâ??t work, the father piped up and said the following, â??When I logged in as her, I changed her password for her so that she didnâ??t forget part of her Social Security Number.â? After my mind stopped freaking out by what I had just heard, I told her that I was going to reset her password and that once she logged in the morning and registered, I suggested that she change her password to something that she would remember and that she kept private, but what I really meant was something that her parents wouldnâ??t know.


I know students who have come on the first day of school, their parents left and they didn’t even know how to make their bed, do their laundry or even make a sandwich because they were sheltered as kids. Their mommies made their lunch for them everyday cut into sections, wrapped in plastic wrap and put into a paper bag. They were so dependent on their providers that they didn’t think about what college would be like. Many students are so overwhelmed with this transition that they will not do well in school, hang out with the wrong crowds and get kicked out of college all because they were not brought up in a household that required you to help out cleaning and being “independent”.

When I was in first grade, my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She couldn’t drive anymore and do a lot of the things that a mother would normally do. Now, at the time I was very upset that I needed to do things for myself because none of my other friends had to; however, I am glad that I did. I came to college prepared and ready to be an adult. I am lucky that I have two of the most caring, but knowledgeable parents when it comes to letting me go and I know they will always be there for me if I need them. While I was at my June Orientation for Plymouth, I drove up by myself a few hours earlier than they did so that I could take my Math Placement exam. When I arrived, I did not look to my parents for advice on where to go or what to do, I asked the people who would know, the Orientation Leaders. These students are very knowledgeable on what I should have been doing and were willing to help me get acclimated to the campus. I saw my parents for meals and thatâ??s about all they were there for, and I am thankful for that. I was able to be on my own and see what it would be like to be in College before I actually arrived in September. I just pray that some of these students realize this before it is too late.
, college, freedom, helicopter parents, independence, new students, orientation, parents, Plymouth, Plymouth state, students

About the author

Timothy Haroutunian

Timothy Haroutunian is a ServiceNow Cloud Implementation Specialist at Acorio. ServiceNow is an IT Management solution that allows for a complete view of your IT and physical environment.

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1 comment

  1. Vasken

    Well said! We live in a generation where too many parents fail to understand that babying their children will make them more likely to fail in the real world, not less. Orientation is a great example of that, and also an event that makes any young adult cringe at the sight of the overbearing, pushy people we might become.

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