Fall Holiday (no daytime classes; evening classes start at 5 p.m.) – October 9
Benchmarks and Potential Challenges
Emphasize issues of time management and study skills. If they are falling behind, encourage them to re-connect with their academic advisor. Faculty members also have available office hours to provide students with any necessary assistance. Encourage your student to seek out professors after class and to utilize their support offerings, guidance, and wisdom.
Adjustment issues are still in full effect, and loneliness and homesickness may increase as students have their first long weekend and potential to see families and old friends. Long-distance relationships may begin to weaken and students may also experience increased feelings of doubt regarding their decision to go to school.
Managing money is often a hot topic at this point because students are finding out how expensive living can be and may want to renegotiate their allowance if one is being given. Ask for a clear budget so that you can decide if your estimations were unreasonable. The first phone bill arrives this month and can be a shock to students who have not had to monitor their phone usage in the past. The use of phone cards or phone provider limits on minutes (call provider for details) can help solve spending problems. Also, cell phones tend to add up. Talk to your student about whether a cell phone is a necessity and, if so, discuss limitations.
Requests for room changes in residence halls may prompt phone calls of support. Encourage working out solutions with roommates because room changes can interfere with the flow of the semester. Remember that students are learning how to advocate for themselves and intervening is tempting, but rarely necessary. We want your student to thrive, and Residential Life makes every effort to accommodate the needs of the students who are unhappy with their living situations.
Given that everyone is different, please note if your student has historically “endured” uncomfortable circumstances, has not made contact, and does not advocate well for themselves. If necessary, contact a Residence Life staff member who will discreetly “check in” on their experience.
Mid-term examinations can be a particularly stressful milestone for the first-year student.
Six week grades are issued to students and families in October. This is a good indication of your student’s progress to date, but there is still time for struggling students to employ new strategies and get on track. It is important to discuss academic progress with your student. Congratulate them on their successes and seek to identify any challenges. Some students may feel discouraged, stressed, scared or excited and over-confident. Encourage your student to connect with their advisor for assistance and to focus on continuing patterns of success or developing new habits toward success.