We expect students to act as responsible adults. This implies that students use time management skills to ensure they attend all classes fully prepared and on time.
We expect students to register for classes with the assistance of our professional academic advisors only, and not their parents or family members. It is our goal for students to build a relationship with their advisors as well as learn the necessary skills to register on their own in the future.
We recognize the importance of communication between family members and you still have a considerable amount of influence with your student. By talking with and listening to your student, you can offer information, support, and guidance. We encourage you to talk with you student about what it means to take on these adult responsibilities, your expectations for their behavior, and your expectations for how your student will keep you informed about his or her university experience. By discussing these expectations, you can help ensure that you and your student fully understand the expectations of the University community.
The biggest challenge for parents and first year students is the change in their relationship. It’s a delicate balance between giving them roots and wings–continuing to be one of their primary sources for support while allowing them to experience opportunities for growth and personal development.
Often, students are more ready for this change than parents are. Below are some ways you as the parent can continue to provide support while "letting go":
Stay in Touch
Although new college students are eager to experience independence, most wish to maintain family ties. Don’t mistake a surge of independence for rejection. Most students welcome news from home.
Urge your student to get involved in activities that interest them—these opportunities serve as an anchor in their new environment and help ease the transition.
When life becomes overwhelming, many students call home to vent to someone who will listen. Avoid the urge to solve their problems–listen and express your belief in their ability to sort it out.
College experiences can trigger inevitable change in behavior. Your student will largely be the same person you raised and sent away, yet if you’re hoping for a big change, don’t expect too much too soon. Maturation is not an overnight process.
Trust Your Student
Finding oneself is difficult enough for young adults without feeling second-guessed or controlled by the people whose opinions they respect most. Trust them to do the right thing.*
*Adopted from the USC parent handbook and the National Orientation Directors Association
Managing this transition successfully is critical to improving a student’s chance for success at the University. While it’s difficult to see your student facing life’s challenges, it’s important not to jump in at the first sign of distress to visit or invite them home. These are opportunities to help your student discover who they really are, what they’re really capable of and often, this is the first time your student will have make vital decisions that affect their daily lives and their future. However, this transition will lay the groundwork for the next major change in their life—the transition from college to career.