Tips For Parents Of New College Students

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    Tips for Parents of New College Students

    Just over a year ago, the World Health Organization declared the spread of the novel coronavirus a global pandemic. In reaction to the virus and the associated challenges, learning institutions at every level were forced to make adjustments. According to UNICEF, schools for more than 168 million children globally had to be entirely closed for close to a year. However, as schools start to open their doors to students, some challenges are likely to persist.  

    For some parents, it is time to prepare their children for college — but things are quite different this year. Your loved one is going to college during uncertain times. Of course, you should be proud of your daughter or son, who will take on new challenges and responsibilities. Here are some tips on how to support your loved one to make this critical transition successfully.  

    Understand That the Current Challenges Are Unique  

    Parents should understand that their children are going to face new challenges as they set off for college. Campus life is going to be different from what they were used to in high school. Please remind your student that there will be resources on campus to use to become successful. Ask your loved one to take advantage of writing centers, tutoring, and other on-campus resources. Even the best student may need MBA essay edit help.  

    As a parent, also understand that your student’s goals may change during the time in college. For example, they may start their college journey wanting to be a doctor but may graduate after four years with a degree in sociology. Likewise, many students change their academic goals during their college journey. So, to avoid being disappointed, keep an open mind.  

    Avoid Asking Them If They Are Homesick  Tips for Parents of New College Students

    Going away to college can be a source of a great adventure for new students. However, it can also be a source of homesickness. According to a recent survey, more than 30% of college students experience low-level homesickness. On the other hand, about 69% of first-year college students undergo severe homesickness.  

    Understand that homesickness is more than missing family or loved ones. It can also mean feeling longing or out of place, mainly when a foreign place or country. In addition, your child is entering a new phase of life and trying to adjust to a new environment.  

    As a parent, understand that homesickness is normal. Most students want to keep enjoying homecooked meals with their family members or take a break from academic pressures and new responsibilities. However, if not severe management, homesickness can turn into a severe mental disorder. 

    Homesickness is normal. Many students want to enjoy a home-cooked meal with family or take a break from adult responsibilities and academic pressures. But it can turn into a severe mental disorder if not managed. 

    Once your loved one is in college and trying to settle into their new life. Sometimes the idea of being homesick does not occur to the students until their parents or siblings start asking about it. During the first few weeks, the young adult will be busy meeting new people and adjusting to college life.  

    There will be classes to attend and assignments to work on. However, unless the students are reminded about homesickness, they will likely escape severe episodes of homesickness.  

    Encourage Them to Participate in On-Campus Activities Tips for Parents of New College Students

    Most students attend college to learn. However, as they get used to life on campus, they realize that academic work at the college level is different from what they did in high school. In college, students are expected to spend more time studying, and assignments demand a higher level of thinking and analysis.  

    That said, college years are not just about academics — there are other kinds of learning involved. Much of this other learning takes place outside the confines of the classroom. For example, colleges offer opportunities for students to pursue their interests and discover new hobbies.  

    Unfortunately, most students fail to take advantage of these opportunities because they spend most of their time focusing on academics or embracing a party life. Some worry that taking part in extracurriculars may distract from their academic pursuits.   

    As a parent, understand that your student is learning to find their path during college. They will need to make independent choices. Your role as a parent is to encourage your student to take advantage of the many opportunities available on campus. Help your loved one consider the benefits of getting involved in healthy campus groups and activities. Here are some benefits:  

    • Getting involved in groups with common interests can be fun; 
    • Getting involved in activities offers chances to network and make friends; 
    • College offers excellent free opportunities that may not exist in the outside world; 
    • Students can adopt new interests; 
    • Involvement may lead to the discovery of new career paths; 
    • Being involved can look good in a resume; 
    • Involvement builds leadership and teamwork skills.  

    Remember, research shows that students who are more involved tend to perform better academically. Also, the more your student is involved in on-campus activities, the lower the chances of them asking for a transfer or dropping out. 

    Set Expectations for Your Student Early 

    Tips for Parents of New College Students  The process of heading to college is filled with expectations, both for you and your student. However, your expectations and those of your students are likely very different. As you prepare them for college, use the time to talk about these expectations and clear the air to prevent challenges later. Good communication will help you to lay the right foundations and clear the air in readiness for quality interaction in the future.  

    One topic that you should discuss with your students before they leave is the reasons for going to college. This may sound like a strange topic since you and your student have spent the past few months preparing for college. However, it would help if you understood why the young adult wants to go to college.  

    Does the student have a goal, or is she interested in a specific career? Is she attending college for athletics or because it is the next logical step? When talking about reasons for attending college, understand that there is no right or wrong answer. Keep the conversation open and candid.  

    Also, talk about how many contacts you can expect with the student. In the present era of smartphones and social media, keeping in touch with those we love is easier than before. However, makes sure you talk to your student regarding both of your expectations on communication. Will the two of you be in contact daily, once every week, or multiple types a day? Make sure the student has similar expectations to yours.  

    Also, discuss the following expectations: 

    • Whether you will be sending money or whether the student will source income on their own; 
    • Whether the student will have a credit card; 
    • Issues relating to leaving campus overnight; 
    • Frequency of visits by the student; 
    • Expectations relating to grades.  

    You could also talk to your student about expectations or concerns regarding sex. It is understandable if you find this subject challenging to explore. You had even talked about this subject when the student was younger. However, understand that your student will be living alone on-campus, and new situations may present themselves. Have a conversation with the student about your concerns. Although it is essential to ask questions, don’t overwhelm the student by asking too many questions in one sitting.  

    Expect Some Change, But Not Too Much  

    Tips for Parents of New College Students  As your student prepares to take on more and more adult responsibilities, expect some change. Even your role as a parent may change, although the student will still need you. Your student will need you to support their growth and continuing independence. You will be the stable force that supports their ever-changing world. They may require your advice from time to time, even if they won’t always ask for it.  

    You will need to learn how to navigate these confusing times, but they will be rewarding and humorous. Remain connected to your student and communicate as much as both of you are comfortable with. Also, understand that the students may not always respond to your contacts. However, they appreciate hearing from you now and then.  

    As your student leaves for college, expect some drastic change over the first few months. The change will slow down after some time. It is natural and inevitable and can even be inspiring. Understand that your students will be exposed to different influences that may shape how they behave and the choices they make.  

    While you cannot stop or may even fail to understand the change, you have all the power to try and embrace it. Other than a few changes, your son or daughter will still be the same person you sent off to college.  

    Sending your student to college can be a frightening experience. Understand that your student will be busy from time to time, and expect some change. On the other hand, you have to trust that you have done a fantastic job raising young adults and that they will make the right decisions on their own. Most importantly, keep communication lines open, but don’t rush in to solve all problems your student faces.  

    Also Read: Top 5 Tips On Improving Your College Programming Assignment Skills

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