When finals are over, many college kids catch the first flight or ride out of town to get home and enjoy the holidays with family and old friends as soon as possible. After weeks of intense studying and much essay-writing, college students are looking to relax and recharge before returning to campus and beginning the spring semester.


Mindful of the importance of the holiday break, Mindy Miley, the College’s assistant vice president for Educational Programs & Services, sends out a holiday-themed poem to the College of Charleston Parent Listserv each year to prepare parents for their student’s homecoming. Miley adapted the poem, “’Twas the College Parent Week After Christmas” after first seeing it posted by College Parents of America, an organization that has also created the helpful “Twelve Days of Christmas for Current College Parents.” 

As you can read below in the poem, college counselors agree that the holiday break provides a perfect opportunity to bridge the gap between a college student’s current and past lives by reconnecting with hometown friends.

“Taking time to spend with old friends helps us all reflect on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going,” says Miley.

Such advice is typical of the information shared on the College of Charleston Parent Listserv, which keeps more than 2,000 people up to date on College happenings and provides a forum for parents and administrators to trade tips and ideas. It also allows parents have a unique and fun College of Charleston experience themselves.

As two parents testify:

  • The listserv is invaluable! I’ve gotten answers from parents about lighting in the dorms, EXACT mattress size, and even great advice on where to eat!  I SO appreciate staff and/or faculty jumping in and answering parent questions on the listserv. Many of our friends with freshmen in colleges in California, Oregon, and Boston have told me they wish they had the same services.
  • The parent listserv has been such a comfort and help to me throughout my son’s years at CofC. We felt really connected to the college and felt like we knew what was happening there. This made it easier for us to back off freshman year and give him the space he needed to find his way without his parents bugging him all the time. I don’t know of another school that does this and it is really an amazing service to the parents!

Parents of incoming and current College of Charleston students are invited to subscribe to the listserv . After selecting Subscribe CofC Parent, one will receive messages posted by faculty, staff, and College of Charleston parents. If you have questions or need assistance subscribing, please email parents@cofc.edu. More information about family and parent resources can also be found at http://www.cofc.edu/families/.

And now, the holiday poem you’ve been waiting for…



Twas the week after Christmas, when all through the house

Not a student was stirring, not a laptop nor mouse;

The clothing was flung in the mudroom with care,

In hopes that Mom soon would be there;

The siblings were nestled all snug in their beds,

Visions of college years danced in their heads

And Mom with her to-do list, and Dad with his map,

Were bound to wake the house from a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

The whole family had to ask: what now is the matter?

Away to the windows they flew very quickly,

Even Grandma upstairs who was very sickly.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to all wondering eyes should appear,

An old friend from high school they hadn’t seen in a year;

With spiked hair and jewelry, in his ears and his nose,

And fabric on his body that appeared to be clothes.

More rapid than eagles his comments they came,

He whistled and shouted, and called the family by name.

“Now Jesse! Now, Shannon! Now, Matthew, and Jane!

I thought all about you while I’ve been away.

To the top of the list, all of you went,

As I thought about high school and all that you meant.

As dry leaves piled in my backyard did fly,

I did not want to rake them, so I looked at the sky;

I watched for some time – the moon and the sun,

It made me think you all, each and every one.

And so I thought I’d come by just to say hey

To ask if we could meet for coffee one day?

I’ve got new friends in college, they’re from everywhere,

But my old friends here from home…well, nothing compares.”

“Sure, we’d like that” they replied to him with good cheer,

And added, “I know what you mean about the people from here.”

The parents were watching this conversation unfold,

It made them feel good, if the truth can be told.

For as proud as they were that their children could roam,

It made them happy when their child did come home.

So they winked and they nodded and returned to their room,

And decided to hold off on lowering the boom.

The cleaning, the shopping, the oil change could wait,

A child renewing old friendships, well that was first-rate.

Now if you relate to this story I’ve told,

Then someone made you a good parent, and then broke the mold.

Of course, you could try to control winter break,

But I’d think you’d soon realize that’s a big, big mistake.

So let your student sleep in and feed them a lot.

A warm bed and good food, is all the leverage you’ve got.

Your friends might disagree, and put their child to work,

And their houses might be cleaner, but their kids think they’re a jerk.

So lay aside the things you must do,

And try a museum, movie or maybe the zoo.

You may want some time to just sit and talk,

And if you do the above, your child is less likely to balk.

Because the goal in the end not to get sappy

But to send your kids back to college rested and happy.

And our goal at the College is to serve you well too,

We know that as parents you’ve got plenty to do;

So we sift through our email and post the best stuff,

And then we send it to you, though never enough.

And when we do have meetings with the administration,

The subject of students provides endless fascination

We advocate for parents, the unsung heroes who pay,

And we hope your investment gets a return one day.