Supporting your student through the adjustment period


The first semester is always an adjustment, no matter how long your student has been in school. Changing up a routine is never an easy task. Life is complicated; it’s a balancing act. Everyone handles change differently. So how can you help your student through this adjustment period?

It’s important to remember your freshman won’t become a “university student” overnight. Freshmen begin university as high school students. It takes time to learn how to become a university student — how to study, how to eat, how to do laundry, how to socialize, how to handle money, etc. Be patient. It takes one full semester of studying, exam writing, presenting in front of a class, succeeding, messing up, getting back up again, fending off the “freshman 15” weight gain, gulping down caffeine and attending university events before your student will find their groove.

When a problem arises, move like your feet are stuck in molasses.
The temptation is to intervene immediately when a student calls home with a problem. Remember that many resources exist at university to help students cope with various situations, from academic to personal. Express support, but give your student time to solve their own problems—it will ultimately benefit them. Universities have many safety nets, including resident advisers who are trained to identify and handle just about any problem you can imagine.[1]

By encouraging your student to take advantage of the on-campus help provided and empathizing with their initial stresses and frustrations, you are setting your student up for a smooth transition.



[1] Joyce, Amy.  “9 Tips on how to be a good college parent.” The Washington Post

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