Admissions 101 - “Letting Go”
- Lory Pendergrast - Director of Admissions
We dropped off our first born son over the weekend at college. His first year. He is more than ready – academically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. He spent his life preparing for this moment. He spent the better part of the year vetting this university. The research was completed, his scores and application were sent, the orientation attended, the dorm supplies, while sparse (after all he’s a guy), were purchased. I felt good both about his decision and about saying goodbye. I let him go after a strong hug. I didn’t shed one tear. But, in full disclosure, I did crawl into his bed upon our return back home and held his pillow close while the wetness from my eyes left a ring on the case.
So here’s what I know. Here is what I am here to remind all of you. Educators have your back. You chose Heritage because you trusted your instincts and because you trust that the values, growth, and dreams you hope for your child are in line with those of The Heritage School. The best gift we can give to our children is to let go and let them soar. If you think about it, it’s our job as parents to do so. No one prepares us for letting go or for trusting our instincts. We listen to the noise on social media, the noise from the news, the noise from our neighbors. Listen to yourself and trust the teachers and administrators who are passionate about what they do because their whole existence is to inspire your children. Their meaning in life is to develop a love of learning in students.
The amount of tears you might shed on drop off day or ones you don’t shed, are not a measure of you as a parent. Sometimes we cry because we’ve been holding onto anxiety. Sometimes we cry because we can’t believe we have a few hours to go to Target ALONE. Sometimes we cry because we know that the first day of school each year is one day closer to saying goodbye when they leave for college.
Having been an educator for most of my life, I am comfortable giving you these “now whats” and the ways to help yourself to let go. Really, it boils down to knowing your resources at Heritage, trusting yourself and your child, and having a plan.
Plan what you are going to do after drop off. Go to work, get a manicure, grocery shop, or my favorite, sit in silence.
Let your child get out of the car by himself or herself. That’s what the Seniors and Teachers are there to help them do.
For those of you with older children – DON’T text them during the day. They are busy meeting friends, learning schedules, finding the right buildings, and/or choosing what teams or clubs to join. If you text them, they will feel obligated to answer you instead of engaging in their new school setting.
As your child leaves the car, smile and tell your child “I am so excited for you to meet new friends!” or “We are going to love Heritage!”
Email your child’s teacher or advisor if you have any questions. They are your first line of information.
Take the time to peruse the Resource Board on your portal. It is chock full of information.
Take the time to peruse the School Calendar. Make sure to click on the date for a drop down of all events for that day. You’ll be surprised at how much we always have going on.
Read the weekly ENews delivered to your email and SCROLL down to the end.
Sign up for our social media sites. You will see new and familiar faces of all ages.
Plan on attending a Parents’ Club meeting.
Email the Admissions Director with any lingering questions– even if I don’t have all the answers, I can direct you to the right person.
Our tour together was the first step in a long journey and relationship. We have been through countless emails, calls, references, testing, and finally enrollment. You and your family did the hard work of researching and trusting that you found the right fit. While it’s now time for me to let go of you and let you and your family immerse yourselves in all that is Heritage, I am always here to answer any lingering questions.
You got this! And Heritage has you.
Have any first day stories to share?
Lory Leyva Pendergrast serves as Admissions Director of the Heritage School. Lory has taught all age levels from PK students to seniors. She first stepped into a classroom while still in high school and still considers herself a classroom teacher at heart. Lory earned her undergraduate degree from Vassar College and her MEd from the University of Georgia. A mom to a first-year college student and a sophomore in Upper School, Lory has spent her career juggling being both a supportive parent and an inspiring teacher. Her greatest professional joy is to push students to reach their potential and see their face light up with that “aha” moment.