I vividly remember saying goodbye to my daughter as she embarked on the biggest adventure of her life up to that point – her first year of university at St. Michael’s College. I remember that bitter-sweet mixture of emotions that spanned everything that goes with “letting go”, and wondering if everything was really going to be OK with her.
Through it all, there were three thoughts, based on my own first-hand experience, that gave me an irrefutable assurance that at St Mike’s, she was in the best of hands. First, if you speak with St. Mike’s alumni, they will tell you that St. Michael’s provides a much smaller and more intimate atmosphere for students than the larger University of Toronto. It has often been referred to as an “oasis in the city” that makes one feel what can be best described as “not being in Toronto”. This feeling is backed up by the fact that St. Michael’s has its own structure and its own staff to help students. It provides a thriving Catholic environment in the midst of a secular university and city. The second reassuring thought is that St. Mike’s has a 160 year old heritage of standing for the nurturing and development of the whole person. Regardless of the academic stream your son or daughter has chosen, their exposure to that rich “soup” of great academic minds, study partners, clubs, teams, organizations, and social activities will all work to help them bloom into the well-rounded, integrated person they were meant to be. Before your very eyes, you will see them stand on their own, take responsibility for their decisions and find their place in the world. Finally, you can be assured that there is also an abundance of caring support among the staff at St. Michael’s and a genuine eagerness to offer it freely and immediately. Whether the challenges are academic or social, you should encourage them to go and talk to their don, the registrar, chaplain or professor about their problem. They will not only get a compassionate, nurturing ear, but good counsel as well. So as you “let go” please know this: St. Michael’s College will be an unforgettable experience for your son or daughter ... and things will be OK. God bless all of you, and best wishes for four outstanding years.