Message from Dean López, Dean of New Students
Congratulations on your child's acceptance to Amherst College. Students, as well as their parents, are now a part of the Amherst community.
Amherst is an exciting time for students. It is an opportunity for them to deepen existing interests, discover new interests, and challenge themselves in new ways. It is a period of remarkable change and growth as students discover who they want to be, and what role they want to play in the world.
Not everything will be easy, not every test will be aced and not every roommate will be a lifelong best friend. As your child is challenged to think, write, and work in new ways, they will discover talents beyond what they imagined, but they also will confront moments of self doubt.
You may receive late night calls from your child suggesting a fear that they got into Amherst College by accident, that they don’t have what it takes, that they aren’t smart enough, that they don’t have any friends. I want to assure you that this anxiety is natural and part of your child’s adjustment to a new place and to new expectations. I also want to assure you that our admissions office does not make mistakes: every student at Amherst is here because we are certain that they have the ability and the drive to succeed here academically and socially. They also might find themselves troubled by the seeming distance between the person they were before coming to college, and the person they are becoming. If you ever are concerned, please advise your child to come speak with me. I can help them think through some of their worries, and, when appropriate, connect them with resources and people who can help support them. We have incredible resources available to your child to help assure that they will not fall through the cracks.
As the parent of a college student, you can help your child transition to being a responsible adult by letting him or her negotiate conflict. Refrain from picking up the phone and talking with us about your child's exam conflicts, enrollment in courses, or housing situations. Instead, empower your child by encouraging them to contact our office or other appropriate office.
A wealth of information is available by consulting the links on our “New Student Guide.” New Student & Parent Guide. For answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by parents of new students, please refer to FAQs.