College is a place of growth – personally and academically. For many students, it is their first time away from home for any extended period. Benedictine University at Springfield is committed to fostering student growth, and we work closely with parents to ensure that their children develop into mature, responsible individuals and citizens.
Here is some helpful advice that will ensure your student’s development both personally and academically:
Almost every student has a cell phone and it is tempting to call every day. But it is important that parents cut the “apron strings” and show their children that they can be trusted to be on their own without constant monitoring. Pre-arrange a call once or twice a week.
Sure, you will be curious. But the more questions you ask, the fewer answers you are likely to get. Keep your questions brief and light. How are your classes? Are you enjoying yourself? How is the cafeteria food? Be supportive, not intrusive.
College can be stressful and frustrating, even for the most studious or sociable students. Whether they complain about their classes or friends, just listen and do not judge. The easiest way to deal with their issues is just to listen and offer options on what they can do. Remember, college is the time for students to grow and learn from their mistakes. Give your student the freedom to make their own choices and hold your student accountable.
If you haven’t already, talk to your student about the long-term ramifications of social media postings. What is posted online is there forever and will follow the student years after graduation…when they look for a job, when they join the service or if they run for political office. Young people often post information that is too personal and too informative. Encourage them to “think” before they “post.”
Reassure them about their choice
Leaving for college can be scary. It can be the most joyous and fearful moment in a young person’s life. Once there, your student may become discouraged or even tempted to leave school and come home. Students need reassurance that by striking out on their own, they have made the right choice and that they have your total support. Be their biggest cheerleader.
Joining a student organization is a great way to meet other people with similar interests. It also looks good on a student’s resume. Encourage your student to join clubs and honor societies. These opportunities will also allow your student to develop leadership and social skills. By connecting outside the classroom, they will feel more connected inside the classroom.
For many students, going away to college can be like a trip to the shopping mall. Everything looks so attractive that it’s easy to forget that there is a price tag. College students can easily get over their heads in debt. Talk to your student about a budget, Talk to them about avoiding credit-card offers from banks with high interest rates and low monthly minimums that make it impossible to pay off.
Your student will have an academic advisor at Benedictine University at Springfield who will help them make the correct course selections based upon their interests and the school’s academic requirements. Be supportive and interested in their academic career, but remember, ultimately it is your student’s education and your student’s future.
Your student’s grades are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). However, if you are funding their education, you do have a right to know how they are doing in school. Your student can give you access to their records, but don’t be afraid to have an open and frank conversation about their academic progress. You will all feel better.