• October

Parents Page — First Year Experience

Just Like Clockwork:
The Rhythm of College Life*

  • Roommate problems begin to arise
  • Students question: "Do I fit in here?"
  • First test grades returned
  • Midterm exams
  • Love relationships from home remain strong
  • Consequences of decision-making experienced
Once your student settles in, he or she will learn to depend more on his or her own judgement. While it may be easier in the short run, students shouldn't blindly follow the crowd. They'll do better if they learn to rely on and respect their own decisions.

By this time, all Freshmen should be sure they have a good advisor to assist them in effectively planning their schedule and selecting courses for next semester. Procrastination has a cost. Students should preregister when the time comes. By preregistering early, your student will have the best chance to enroll in the courses of his or her choice. And don't forget the deadline for filing for spring financial aid.

Not all your student's focus will be on the next semester. Students shouldn't forget the deadline for withdrawal from classes without penalty. A late decision can be costly.

Day-to-day decisions are also critical. Student's shouldn't skip too many classes. It gets harder and harder to keep up. On the other hand, this is a period of adjustment, and some students will fall behind in the first month. Regardless of the reason a student falls behind, it is possible to catch up. Lagging students should be sure to use all available resources, including their professors, advisors, and if necessary, university-wide resources like the Bellotti Learning Center. Other students can also be a useful resource.

*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.