• February

Parents Page — First Year Experience

Just Like Clockwork:
The Rhythm of College Life*

  • Feelings of claustrophobia and depression set in with winter
  • Potential increase in alcohol and other substance abuse
  • Challenges with love relationship back home
  • Valentine's Day brings out loneliness, isolation

It's important to keep focused, and deciding on a major is one way your student can focus better. He or she should know the the requirements and career opportunities for for a chosen major before selecting it. If it's not time yet, it's wise to not force the decision. It's better to wait than to make the wrong choice and have to backtrack later.

Self-discipline is the key to academic success. It's also the key to social fulfillment.
Encourage your student to continue introducing him- or herself to fellow students. Those interactions will help combat the rough times which may discourage your student.

If your student considers dropping out, don't feel he or she is the only one thinking that way. Many students have similar thoughts. Most stay in school. Encourage your student to talk with a friend, advisor or faculty member if the thoughts persist.

Most faculty members try hard to get to know as many students as possible. encourage your student to talk to them about academic concerns or problems of a personal nature.

Encourage your student to keep managing time effectively. That means going to class and not getting behind in his or her studies, and keeping up with assignments. For balance it's a good idea for students to keep reading campus bulletin boards and newspapers for announcements of activities which might be of interest, rather than sitting back and waiting for people to ask.

*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.