By the time they get through high school, most students are pretty used to transitioning from summer to school time. But starting college brings a whole new set of challenges. First-year college students have to handle additional responsibilities like how much time they’ll spend in class, how to manage the time they devote to their coursework and how to take advantage of campus resources like the library.
It is vital for emerging college students to understand these changes and adapt to them so they can have a rewarding college experience. For the back-to-school season, The Conversation has put together four articles from our archive that give first-year students and their parents tips on how to set themselves up for success during the college years.
1. Parents, help students prepare for college
Graduating from high school and enrolling in college are not all that emerging college students need to worry about. Lara Schwartz, director of the Project on Civil Discourse at American University, gave parents tips on preparing their kids for college. She wrote, “Knowing what to expect can make a major difference in a student’s psychological well-being.”
Schwartz suggested that parents do five things to help students feel ready for college. Parents should let their children know that professors will expect students to reach out when they need help. They should also discuss what they expect from their children, like how often they should communicate. Because it is the first year, parents should expect students to make mistakes but also encourage their children to recover from those mistakes.
“Many first-year college students report feeling ‘stressed most or all of the time,’ regardless of where they go to college,” Schwartz wrote. But with some advance preparation, parents can help alleviate that stress.
2. Manage student mental health
Nicholas Joyce, a psychologist at the University of South Florida, gave new college students tips on what they can do to maintain their mental health in school.
He told students to take responsibility for making sure their work is completed and getting to classes on time. Also, students should not expect colleges to fix their mental health issues. Medical exceptions for mental health can be helpful when students start having poor grades, but they delay graduation dates. Students end up spending more time – and money – to earn their degree.
“More importantly, getting a medical exception does not resolve the underlying issue that led to the failure in the first place,” Joyce wrote.
Lire la suite: Are you mentally well enough for college?