Thriving In The First Six Weeks Of School
The first six weeks of school might well turn out to be the most challenging for your student. This school year is especially unique, but these early weeks of a students first six weeks in college almost always push a student more than they were ever pushed in high school. They’ll be adapting to the academic and social rigors of college while also learning to manage their own time and make good choices.
You can play a role in helping your student through these first weeks of school. Follow these tips to assist your student and keep them on track as they begin their college career.
- Schedule a time to talk on the phone once a week. It allows your student time to meet new friends, study, and get involved, while providing you the time to check-in and stay connected. Texting is also an easy way to keep in touch.
- Ask if they are using a planner or calendar for time management. Their newfound freedom – especially with some or all of their classes online – can be hard to adjust to without some structure.
- Remind your student to eat, sleep, and exercise on a regular schedule. Good holistic health helps improve academic performance.
- Inquire if your student is attending class and studying. This includes joining their online classes as scheduled. It is recommended they study at least 2-3 hours per class per week.
- Support them through their academic adjustment. Most college-level courses require a large amount of work done outside of class. It may take several hours and days to complete and probably cannot be completed right before class. They should review their syllabus often to check for important dates and deadlines. If they have questions, they should contact their professor immediately to get more information. Important information is posted in the online course tool, Canvas.
- Talk about their new friends. Continue to affirm family expectations around their social life, personal safety, and responsibility. Talk directly about your expectations related to drinking and drugs.
- Find out if they are getting involved. Opportunities for involvement are still available in spite of COVID-19 limitations. Suggest they join a major-specific club or social student organization, many of which are meeting regularly online or in small groups, or get an on-campus job. These activities help with future networking and provide an overall positive sense of belonging to UWM.
- Discuss budgeting and have them visit the Financial Aid Office. Students can track their expenses using online budget tools to better understand how finances may affect their newfound freedom.
- Refer your student to the UWM resources available when they hit their first obstacle. If they’re not sure who to ask, their Resident Assistant (RA) or the Student Success Center is a great place to start.
- Join the Panther Family Facebook Page and Panther Family Facebook Group to receive updates and tips a few times per week.
Story posted Sept. 29, 2020