• April & May

Parents Page — First Year Experience
April and May

Just Like Clockwork:
The Rhythm of College Life*


  • Excitement with arrival of spring
  • Concern over declaring major
  • End of semester pressure


  • Final exam anxiety
  • Apprehension about returning home for summer
  • Sadness over leaving new friendships and/or love relationships at school
  • Realization of how college influences life decisions

It is very hard to break old habits. Students have to work hard this month if they want to have different outcomes. Sometimes, it's smart to drop a course and not get a bad grade. Sometimes, it's better to hang in there and try to finish the course. Students should get advice, and be realistic.

They can't assume that their grades will get better. They will need to do something different to improve them.

That means not falling behind in classes. Starting early to study for finals—the last two weeks are too late. Students should be encouraged to keep working on and improving their study skills. There is a lot of planning and studying ahead in the next month.

This may be the hardest time to stay self-disciplined and focused. At the same time, it's a good idea for your student to to try to enjoy the end of the year, and find something to do that is relaxing.

*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.