Extremely Challenging Moments Change/transition can be quite difficult Be alert for significant changes in mood, personality, behaviors. Intuition/ “gut” check You know your student best Reach out to appropriate university personnel
Managing Social Demands ISSUE Becoming Independent: Students are expected to manage their own affairs Students have to make their own decisions and function independently Developing a Sense of Belonging: Everything is new & different Students focus on finding friends and “fitting in”. Feelings of being a “little fish” HOW TO HELP Encourage students to ask their own questions and take responsibility for managing their own affairs Develop a communication plan to share important information with your student Talk with your student about how to handle illness and other emergencies (insurance, co-pays, etc.) Encourage your student to be independent, but be willing to reach out for help in an urgent situation Remind students that friendships take time, energy and effort: be proactive Listen, support, and encourage your student to set realistic expectations Recognize how peer support and becoming integrated into campus life is critical to academic success
Managing Social Demands ISSUE Negotiating Campus Diversity: Making sense of, and being exposed to diverse ethnic/cultural backgrounds, viewpoints, lifestyles, religious beliefs, practices, and values HOW TO HELP Encourage your student to actively participate in campus social activities Share with your student the many benefits of campus co-curricular and community involvement Help your student recognize that frequent trips home can hinder their focus on academics and getting connected to the campus Understand that students may not be able to play as active a role with family affairs and events as they may have previously Acknowledge how college life allows for the student to explore and find what they want to do, and who they want to be Encourage exploration through campus involvement
Managing Finances ISSUE Setting a Budget & Sticking to It: Having enough money for expenses Defining needs vs. wants Credit Cards: Inappropriate or over usage HOW TO HELP Help your student in developing a financial plan or a budget Anticipate everything (tuition, housing, books, food, toiletries, entertainment, gas, etc.) Clearly define what the family is paying for Teach the importance of financial responsibility Encourage your student to consider work Discuss with your student the importance of building credit, as well as the dangers of accumulating debt Explain how interest is accrued
Managing Finances ISSUE Understanding Educational Financing: Nuances of financial aid Negotiating University billing HOW TO HELP Review with your student the financial aid process and how money will be deposited Discuss possible requirements for different types of financial aid Bills from the University will be sent directly to your student; develop a plan to share information as appropriate Research and apply for scholarships that reflect special talents or interests
Managing Academic Demands ISSUE Higher Expectations: Applying critical thinking. Learning takes place outside the classroom. Increased volume or work vs. decreased time frames Student body ranges from 1 st through 4th year in any class. Change in the Environment: Studying at home vs. the library. Each hour of lecture equals 2 hours of reading/study. Assigned Reading HOW TO HELP Help student (and family) to set realistic academic expectations and adjust if necessary Encourage your student to seek out help from academic and campus resources Ask your student what they think about what they learned, and not just what they learned. Utilize academic services through the Disability & Learning Resource Center. Encourage students to use a daily planner. Discuss time management skills and share strategies.
Managing Academic Demands ISSUE Anxiety about Choosing a Major: Parental expectations Conflicted feelings of majoring in what they like and we are good at, versus what others want Perceptions of where majors lead. Difficulty and lack of comprehension. HOW TO HELP Learn about the major more and the classes offered in the upper division areas. Appreciate that a decision about a major may unfold over time. Students’ interpretation of a major vs. family’s. Encourage student to seek out professionals in the major. Encourage your student to choose a major based on intrinsic interest in subject matter. Appreciate that a major and career are only loosely related. Understand that a graduate degree can be independent of an undergraduate experience.
Managing Family Relationships ISSUE Changing Relationships: Relationships with parents and siblings WILL change HOW TO HELP Support change and be willing to change too Recognize you may not be greeted with the same personality each time your student returns home: welcome and embrace your student’s evolving development Recognize your student’s evolution into adulthood
Managing Family Relationships ISSUE Communication: Students are busy and don’t always have time to talk with family members Students may not express how important it is to hear from family HOW TO HELP Understand your student may not always be available when you call Be respectful of your student’s schedule Think of creative ways to communicate with your student Be flexible when your student comes home Let your student know if you plan to visit them at school
Campus Resources Academic Advising Campus Safety Career Services Dean of Student Affairs Campus Activities Registrar’s Office Office of First-Year Experience Wellness Center (Health Center & Counseling Center) Financial Aid Office Bursar Office Campus Pastor Residential Education & Services
Adapted from the University of California, Riverside parent orientation presentation