College is a time of transition not just for students, but for their families as well. Your child will need your continued support, but that may look very different than it did in high school. You can assist them in their journey through college by encouraging them to:
- Commit to college life. They may want to return home every weekend (and you may want them to). But staying at school can help them to get involved and feel at home here and can lead to better results in the long run.
- Develop and continue healthy habits. There are no mandatory bedtimes in the dorms or mandatory vegetable minimums in the dining halls. Physical and mental well-being is crucial to academic success and habits (good or bad) that are formed early in college can guide your student for years to come. Make sure you remind your child of the importance of exercise, healthy eating and overall wellbeing to their collegiate success.
- Advocate for themselves. One of the major changes of college is that the burden of advocacy shifts from parents, teachers, and counselors to the students themselves. Rather than solving their problems for them, you can support them in solving problems for themselves. Work with your child to discuss issues that arise directly with faculty members or other staff, and help them explore ways to address any obstacles they may face during their college experience. If appropriate, refer them to university resources that could help them.
The University of Arkansas also has a wide range of resources available to help students and their families navigate this transition.
For further information on assisting students in the transition to and through college, please consult the following:
- Letting go: tips for parents of new college students
- 9 tips on how to be a good college parent
- 15 Things Parents of First-Year College Students Should Never Do
- Set to Go, a program from The Jed Foundation (JED)
- High School to College Transition, Part 1: The Freshman Myth
- How a College Roommate Can Affect Your Child