August

What’s Happening with New Students:

  • They are adjusting to new lives, new responsibilities, new relationships, new roommates, and new freedoms. The first six weeks of college are a challenging time for new students who are trying to make these adjustments all at once.
  • They are excited about moving away from home, but may also be homesick.
  • They are enthusiastic about starting college life, but may be insecure about fitting in, being as smart as everyone else, or navigating unfamiliar surroundings.
  • They are separated from friends, loved ones, support networks, and familiar surroundings.
  • They’re unsure of what to expect academically—the unknown workload and expectations from faculty.
  • They’re starting over. They are no longer a big fish in small pond, and no one here knows their former status at their previous school (this may be a relief for some students; a concern for others).

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  • Accept your changing role as a parent. Your new role is likely to be that of a mentor, providing support, encouragement, advice, and guidance, without the control you once had. This is another stage of your student’s  life, and your role as a parent does not stop—it just changes.
  • Set realistic expectations for your student regarding academics, financial responsibility, social involvement, alcohol and drug use. Discuss these expectations in a non-judgmental manner, and be open to listening as well. Keep the lines of communication open.
  • Encourage your student  to be independent and responsible. Be an empathic listener but refrain from ‘coming to the rescue’ when there is a  problem. By teaching students how to solve their own problems, parents demonstrate that they have confidence in their students, and students therefore gain more confidence in themselves. 
  • Encourage your student  to take responsibility for actions/behavior and to accept the consequences. Students need to know that their parents trust them. 
  • Become familiar with University resources so that you can direct your student to the appropriate resources for assistance.
  • Encourage your student  to become a part of the University by joining student groups and attending residence hall or campus-wide events.  Encourage your student to be brave and go to informational mass meetings alone—it’s the best way to get involved with the community and to make new friends.
  • Listen and provide reassurance. Remind your student  that these adjustments and feelings are normal.

Very Brief Summary

  • Accept your changing role as a parent. Your new role is likely to be that of a mentor, providing support, encouragement, advice, and guidance, without the control you once had. This is another stage of your student’s  life, and your role as a parent does not stop—it just changes.
  • Set realistic expectations for your student regarding academics, financial responsibility, social involvement, alcohol and drug use. Discuss these expectations in a non-judgmental manner, and be open to listening as well. Keep the lines of communication open.
  • Encourage your student  to be independent and responsible. Be an empathic listener but refrain from ‘coming to the rescue’ when there is a  problem. By teaching students how to solve their own problems, parents demonstrate that they have confidence in their students, and students therefore gain more confidence in themselves. 
  • Encourage your student  to take responsibility for actions/behavior and to accept the consequences. Students need to know that their parents trust them. 
  • Become familiar with University resources so that you can direct your student to the appropriate resources for assistance.
  • Encourage your student  to become a part of the University by joining student groups and attending residence hall or campus-wide events.  Encourage your student to be brave and go to informational mass meetings alone—it’s the best way to get involved with the community and to make new friends.
  • Listen and provide reassurance. Remind your student  that these adjustments and feelings are normal.