Tips for Parents

Three Things Your College Student Needs to Hear

Article courtesy of the Parent Relations Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Throughout their experience, undergraduate students face a variety of personal and academic challenges. Many universities provide a wide range of resources to support students both in and out of the classroom. It would not be college if it weren’t challenging, but you can help your student be successful by reminding them of three things:

First, struggle, and even failure, are normal.

Many students believe “I am the only one with this problem,” or “I am the only one who is not keeping up in Physics.” The reality is that most students face similar problems.

Second, asking for help is a typical part of learning in college.

At MIT, for example, half of all freshmen and one-third of all undergraduates report asking for academic assistance, such as tutoring, from their school or department. Talking to a professor or teacher’s assistant, attending tutoring, or asking for help from other students in the class can help your student get back on track in a difficult class.

Third, you are not alone.

If a student is feeling stressed for any reason – from relationship issues to coursework – help is available. The best thing to do when feeling overwhelmed or isolated is to reach out:

  • Student Support Services at your student’s university can provide support, advice, advocacy, and referrals on academic and personal issues.
  • Residence hall staff members should be available to listen and can direct students to the appropriate resources on campus.
  • Mental Health and Counseling services are often available on campus, and can be a great support system for your student.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Sign up for UniversityParent’s weekly eNewsletter for additional tips and advice to help your college student succeed. You can also add to the discussion and get feedback from fellow college parents by joining our College Parents’ Facebook group. 

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