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Advice for Parents of College Students

Realize the academic challenges are much different from high school. Tell your child ahead of time about family plans, especially over the holidays, so that he or she can make plans accordingly. Invite your child to share with you the discovery of new ideas, academic interests, and intellectual passions.

Can you live a life without college?

Yes, it's possible to succeed without a college degree. But with so many programs designed to take you from having no experience in a field to being highly-skilled and job-market ready, having a college degree offers a clear advantage.

There’s a lot to learn before heading off, and there’s no one better equipped to teach them than you. Try tackling some of the more simple things first to gain momentum for bigger things later on. Take some time to go over the housing rules and guidelines where your student will be staying. Most schools will provide a packing list or other student resources to cover what they can and should bring.


Spur-of-the-moment “surprises” usually are not appreciated. Some families may find this more challenging than others, especially if they have depended on their students to care for younger siblings, work in a family business, or provide additional income. And if you and your student are still deciding which college is the right fit, these tips can help you know what resources to look for and ask about when you’re visiting schools. If you are a family member of a first-generation college student, congratulations! You have no doubt played a huge role in helping your student achieve this important goal and you should feel very proud of both your student and yourself.

What are college students most afraid of?

One of the biggest things that first year students worry about is whether or not they will make friends or fit in. Getting involved in clubs and student organizations is the best way to meet new people and find your own group of friends.

And what could possibly be wrong with asking about grades and praising your child for doing well? But believe it or not, there’s actually several things wrong with asking about your student’s grades. You might also be used to calling the school about discipline issues – a bully, or another child who’s causing your student distress. In college, your student will be expected to work it out on their own and seek out their own assistance. If you try to step in, the college administration will probably be less than helpful. Being a squeaky wheel on your child’s behalf won’t work anymore.

Prepare Them for the Basics

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about getting good grades, but take a more holistic approach to your coursework. Although you may initially have to relearn how to study, your professional and life experience can actually help you succeed when you return to school. Use your life experience to your advantage and don’t stress if you don’t ace every exam or complete every assignment perfectly. Last year, UVA Today reached out to clinical psychologist Tim Davis for tips for parents of new college students. His advice was such a hit that we came back to him for more. Give your student the opportunity to share feelings and ideas with you.

What is the most important thing for a parent?

What can we do for our children that will give them confidence, enable them to feel empathy for others, and succeed as best they can in their lives. Perhaps the most essential thing a parent can give a child is the belief that his or her presence gives joy and delight.

Take a few days to be intentional about tracking how you spend your time. You might be surprised by how much of it you spend on things that are little more than distractions from the important things in life. You, in turn, will most likely obsess for the next day or so over everything they said, causing you to lose sleep and feel eco sober house review distracted. Ask your college student how you can best support them. College campuses are filled with resources to help your child succeed. They have access to academic tutors, peer mentors who can help them find fun sober activities to participate in, study groups, and clubs to join that match the interests of your child.

Teach your student how to create and stick to a budget. College isn’t free, and it’s important that college newbies know how to stay on track. A significant milestone in a student’s life is moving away for college for the first time. And while your recent high school graduate is daydreaming about college life, you as a parent might dread being apart after all these years of raising them. Indeed, this adjustment impacts the entire family dynamic, not just the students.

And that’s because that approach creates the belief system in which they think they’re either born with that wonderfulness, or they’re not born with it. And what they’re born with is not under their control. What their genetic makeup is, is not under their control. A father and son carry bags into UVA’s dorms during move-in day last year.

Tips for Parents of College Students

College students usually call their parents for reassurance when things aren’t going well, and call their friends with the latest exciting news. When you get those late night phone calls, you can encourage your child to use the appropriate campus resources—counseling services or career center, to talk to an advisor or tutor. Of course, they come out with new expertise learned inside the classroom. But, what really makes the difference is in what happens for them outside the classroom.

Along with increasing your anxiety, pushing too hard can drive a wedge between you and your student. By letting go, you’re giving the relationship a chance to blossom into something new, which is important. Make sure that you and your family members support each other during this journey. Don’t put that burden on your college-bound student, as that can make them feel guilty for leaving and could make college harder for them. Instead, turn to other family members who are in your position, offering support and accepting it in equal measure.

Communication: Keeping in Touch

From a developmental standpoint, at this time in students’ lives, their primary job is to individuate and separate from their family. And parents, while very well-intentioned, often kind of short-circuit their child’s ability to do that job by having too much contact. Parents and families of new college-aged students are in major prep mode right now, buying items to outfit dorms and finalizing plans to drop their children off at school.

  • College isn’t free, and it’s important that college newbies know how to stay on track.
  • Based on data from the Social Security Administration, men with a bachelor’s degree earn a median of approximately $900,000 more in lifetime earnings than high school graduates.
  • Psychologists call this “enmeshment,” and it’s not good for your child.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Going away to college for the first time is a momentous occasion in the lives of students. For many learners, it will mark the first time they have lived away from home for an extended period of time. Discuss what information you want your student to share with you.

Sending your child a care box is a fun way to let them know you are thinking of them. What’s important is for your student to find a subject that genuinely ignites their passion. By doing so, their odds of career success are much higher. Part of the college experience is exploration, and there’s a good chance they’ll find that another major resonates with them more than their initial pick. Embrace those discoveries as a parent, as your support can be a critical key to their overall success. “During transitions, worrying about finding a social niche is natural.

advice for parents of college students

In these “crisis” times, your son or daughter can unload troubles or tears and, after the catharsis, return to routine relieved and lightened–while you inherit the burden of worry. Be patient with these nothing-is-going-right-l-hate-this-place https://soberhome.net/ phone calls or letters. You’re providing a real service as an advice dispenser, sympathetic ear or punching bag. For more ideas, explore these resources for single parents in college.

Instead, point them to tools that help them find their own answers. That way, they learn how to navigate various situations, which will make their transition out of college and into the “real world” easier. View the most relevant schools for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to finding your college home. You may also want to think about setting your student up with a credit card if they don’t have one already. Credit cards can come in handy for emergencies and, when used responsibly, help students begin to establish a positive credit history.

Plus, it allows parents to embrace their new paradigm, whether that means having one less student at home or an entirely empty nest. Lisa Kaplin atGrown and Flown has some excellent advice for parentson supporting your college student when they’re unhappy. She also provides tips on how to avoid overreacting to their emotional state. I can’t say it better than she can, so click the link to find out more.

We need to know that we’ve done our best to teach them to do as much for themselves as possible given their circumstance. Also, encourage your learner to get involved in campus activities. Most colleges have special interest clubs, intramural sports, study groups, and other extracurricular activities that will help them get adjusted and make new friends. It might take a few months to fill both the emotional and physical void of sending your child away to college for the first time. Here are some tips to help the transition go a bit smoother. After 18 years of parenting, it can be hard to let go.

advice for parents of college students

For those of you who went to college, think twice before beginning a sentence with “When I was in college …” College students want their parents to accept all the changes they’re making, but typically like everything at home to stay the same. It’s important to keep them informed about changes, whether it’s moving a younger sibling into their room, or a more serious issue.

Even students who are strong writers will need help with papers in college. Your child has been making decisions on how they’ll spend time for many months. You however, may have strong feelings of your own when they come in late at night, or sleep late in the morning. Most students respond well if parents treat them with respect. This one really shocks a lot of parents when I bring it up in coaching conferences. Aren’t grades the measure of what success looks like in school?



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