Making College a Success
Congratulations! Your student has been accepted to college. As exciting as it is, your student may be having some concerns about college such as:
- Feeling nervous about going away from home, perhaps for the first time.
- Worrying about fitting in and making new friends.
- Being apprehensive about their ability to keep up with the course loads and expectations of their instructors.
Here are a few DO'S and DON'TS to help make your student's time at college a happy and successful experience.
- Prepare your student for the increased academic demands they will face in college. If possible, introduce them to some college students who can chat about their own experience.
- Encourage your student to use free academic help services available on campus, such as writing centers, tutoring services, academic support services and advising, study groups and counseling centers.
- Encourage your student to meet with the professor or teaching assistants during office hours to get to know them and get extra help. The professors really do want to help their students.
- Stress the importance of time management. Go over their academic schedule with them and help them figure out time for study, meals and socializing.
- Comfort them when they feel lonely. It's normal to feel strange in a new place with new people. Encourage your student to join clubs or groups where they can develop a common bond with other members.
- Remind your student to stick to deadlines. You can find an academic calendar on the college website and email reminders about important deadlines.
- Be your student's best cheerleader.
- Let your student give up. Keep them motivated by sharing their experiences with you on a regular basis. Offer encouragement and advice whenever you can.
- Encourage them to come home every weekend. Some of the most rewarding experiences can be outside of the classroom. Encourage them to perform public service work in the community and invite new friends to go with them to sporting and music events and other campus sanctioned activities.
- Ignore cries for help. College campuses have free mental health and counseling services for students who are having an exceptionally difficult time coping with the demands of college.
- Nag. Say what you have to say, then leave it. The college experience is theirs to own, so let them make their own choices...just be there to help pick up the pieces and guide them to a better choice when they've made a wrong turn.
- Forget about celebrating each milestone your student makes. Care packages from home, cards, emails and text messages can go a long way to ease the stress of being away from home and encouraging even more success.
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