Becoming who you are. Cultivating what you do.

For Parents

Tips for Parents of Incoming First Year Students

Getting adjusted to university life is a process for students as well as for their parents and families. New classes, clubs, and friendships stretch students and call forth new skills. They involve the core of who your student is - their very identity.

Below are tips from parents who work at the university and have walked the road before you.

  • Encourage big picture thinking. There are many services on campus to help your student (career services, counseling services, academic services, campus ministries). While you don't need to accompany them, you can encourage them to use services that are offered.
  • Your student's information. Your student owns their academic record and their privacy is guarded by the university according to federal guidelines (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA). Get details here:
  • Ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask your student questions yet be prepared that they might not know the answer or be willing to find out according to your timeline.
  • Step back. Listen to your student and let them be their own self-advocate.
  • Beyond the classroom. University life includes many activities beyond taking classes, and they are essential to your student's development! It's easiest to get involved and try new things at the beginning of the year when everyone is new.
  • Healthy perpective. One of the most important things your student is doing is trying to find a way to fit in. That might take a whole year.
  • #Adulting. Help your first year student understand processes regarding meal plans, book rental or purchase, parking permits, etc. Encourage them to ask questions and check websites to find information and increase their knowledge and confidence.
  • Be patient. They all figure it out, but it make take awhile.