Special Announcement for Freshman Parents About Learning Support Services
If this is your first child to go to college, a period of adjustment is necessary: students are transitioning to new roles, routines, rules, responsibilities, and relationships. Here are a few helpful tips for the first few weeks of the semester:
1. Don’t ask your child if they are homesick.
• The first few weeks of school are action-packed; adjusting to new people and new situations takes up majority of a freshman’s time and concentration. Unless reminded of it, they’ll probably get over the loneliness and homesickness. And even if they don’t tell you during those first few weeks, they do miss you.
2. Take time to discuss finances.
• Most college students are still financially dependent on their parents to some degree. Students need to know how much money will be available to them and how much of the fiscal responsibility is theirs.
• Often times, students are lured by free t-shirts, posters, dorm room supplies, etc. to sign up for credit cards. Make sure that if your child does get a credit card that they pay their bill on time every month and do not rack up major credit card debt. Encourage them to limit their credit card transactions except in the case of emergencies.
• Students can set up a Gold Card Account at the Bursar’s Office. A Gold Card is similar to a debit card. By setting up a Gold Card Account, students do not need to carry cash on campus. For example, you can deposit $500 at the beginning of the semester which students can use to pay for books, food, Union Market, and some laundry machines, vending machines, and copy machines on campus. Gold Card Accounts can be replenished at any time. Deposits can be made into a Gold Card Account during normal business hours from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Monday-Friday.
3. Don’t worry too much about depressing phone calls, letters, or emails.
• Often when trouble becomes too much for a student to handle (failing a test, an ended relationship, fight with a roommate), the only place to turn is home. Often, unfortunately, this is the only time the urge to communicate is felt so strongly, so you rarely get to hear about the “A” paper or new significant other.
• In these crisis times, be patient with this type of communication. Being a good listener may be a lousy job, but it works wonders for a frustrated student.
These tips will be updated on a regular basis so please check out our website again in October for more helpful hints on successful parenting of a college student.
Some of the information has been modified and revised from the Orientation Director’s Manual published by the National Orientation Director’s Association.
These tips were written by Dr. Lane Neubauer, Associate Dean of Students.