• September

Parents Page — First Year Experience

Just Like Clockwork:
The Rhythm of College Life*

  • Excitement
  • Testing new-found freedom
  • Frequent calls and visits home
  • Homesickness and loneliness
  • Anxiety about roommates, professors, classes
  • First exams
Your student will find that Freshman year will be more challenging than high school. Students should be prepared to read a lot and to study more than they did in high school. At the same time, they will want to budget their time carefully so they have time for social and extracurricular activities.

Generally speaking, Freshmen shouldn't take all tough courses in their first semester. That will make it harder to adapt successfully.

Your student will do best if he or she gets to know his or her teachers. Suffolk professors are willing to give assistance when it's needed. But when help is required, your student will need to ask. The same holds true for advisors. Students should get in touch with their advisor as frequently as they need to.

Freshmen need to develop good time-management skills if they don't already have them. This means setting aside time to study on a daily basis, paying close attention to deadlines, and keeping up with class assignments.
While it's only natural to want to make new friends, Freshmen shouldn't try to be too popular too fast and make friends right away. Developing a new social life takes a little time, and shouldn't be forced.

Acknowledge the challenges your student faces in beginning college life, and be supportive. Don't assume that because your student was a good student in high school that things will come easily in college.

*Electronically reproduced with permission from Helping Your First Year College Student: A Guide for Parents, Richard H. Mullendore and Cathie Hatch (© 2000 by The University of South Carolina)

To order a copy of Helping Your First Year College Student: A Guide for Parents, contact The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience, University of South Carolina, 1728 College Street, Columbia, SC 29208. Tel. (803) 777-6229.