Tips for Parents

5 More Things Your Student Must Know Before Going to College

For a parent trying to let go and allow her student to gain independence at college, watching her learn life lessons and make mistakes can be challenging, albeit imperative. Many times the best – and only – way to support your student is to impart your knowledge and hope she takes it to heart.

Whether your student learns these through experience or by talking to you, consider the following five lessons a few University Parent parents said were important for their students:

Coping and Bouncing Back After Challenges

Life is full of setbacks and victories, successes and disappointments. While that doesn’t start in college, your student’s way of coping will change in college.

With a different set of challenges and friends – and new ways to relieve stress and relax (some of them constructive and some destructive) – your student will set lifetime patterns for coping and handling stress. Help her process through her emotions, or encourage her to talk to another positive influence in her life.

Balancing Freedom and Responsibilities

There’s much more to college than classes, and students often struggle with setting priorities and dealing with all the demands on their time. Help your student define her most important responsibilities, and encourage her to establish a good scheduling system: an iPhone calendar, daily planner or post-it notes.

Handling Illness

Getting sick can cause your student to fall behind in her classes, and catching up can seem impossible. If she hasn’t found balance in her new life, getting sick is likely.

Talk to your student about how to stay healthy and what to do when illness strikes. Help her know how to watch for signs of dehydration, mono, the flu, etc. and when a trip to the clinic is necessary.

Utilizing Resources

Your student can stay on top of her classes by recognizing where she needs help and getting it early. By reaching out to people who are there to help her, she will save time and energy and learn to solve her problems effectively. Point her toward university resources like her advisor, tutors, study groups and online resources, and remind her to get to know her teachers and teacher assistants.

Recognizing Personal Accountability

As your student ventures out on her new life with more independence, she will learn that the choices she makes impact her future as well as people around her. Identifying consequences and outcomes will become a big part of her decision-making process.

Allow her to learn this on her own by not bailing her out immediately when she makes a mistake and finds herself with an unintended outcome. Owning her decisions will strengthen her character and self-worth.

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