Are you sending your first child to college? If so, you may feel a little lost or overwhelmed about what could happen. Even if you've done this before, you might have some concerns. As a parent or guardian, it's tough, but important, to let go and allow your student to make his or her way in the world – even to make mistakes and learn from them.
Here are some ideas about how you can be involved in your student's educational experiences.
- Ask what your student likes or dislikes about college courses and studying. Ask how his/her ideas for the future are changing.
- Attend campus events when you're invited. We especially hope to see you on Family Day in September, when departments are open and faculty can visit with you.
- When your student needs help, refer her/him to campus resources (see list). Start with your student's advisor who can identify others who can help.
- Urge your student to make his or her own appointments.
- Allow your student to choose courses, decide how to spend time, and learn to study. Don't expect perfection!
- Encourage your student to visit the Latino or Black Cultural Center; to study abroad, to participate in a service-learning project; or to attend social events, lectures, or concerts outside his/her normal interests. A college campus provides students a safe way to step outside comfort zones and interact with other cultures and ideas. College can be a mind-opening experience!
- Resist the urge to be in touch daily. Allow your student to initiate the contact and trust that things are going well.