“"When students first meet their orientation leaders, they're usually very quiet. But it's the role of their orientation leader to get them comfortable with each other, make friends, participate in the different activities. If students have any questions they should feel like they can ask that question without being judged or that they shouldn't ask - there is no such thing as a dumb question when it comes to orientation.”
Jordan Rogers '15
Major: Criminal Justice
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We realize that the first year is one of great transition, not only for your student, but for you as a family member as well. It's only natural for you to worry about your student's adjustment to college life.
Our hope is that your student adjusts well, achieves much, and enjoys his or her college experience. However, your student may experience some stressors in the first year, and beyond. Know that he or she is not alone: there are common sources of stress that are a normal part of the first-year experience. Your student may be anxious about leaving home, over academic performance and meeting professor's expectations, or the social pressure of developing new relationships with roommates and classmates, fitting in and finding friends. To us, these stressors are consistent and predictable in the first-year experience. They are also very, very real and personal to your student.
Family members of first-year students can employ a number of strategies in minimizing their student's stress. From providing support from afar to encouraging campus involvement, you can help your student successfully navigate the important interactions that have such a great impact on satisfaction and success during the first-year. Persuade your student to take advantage of all the academic resources, student activities and student services on campus. If your student lives on campus, encourage him to get to know his Resident Director, a live-in professional administrator whose full-time presence in your student's hall provides support and engagement opportunities. If your student is a commuter, she can make use of all the amenities and activities offered in the Student Center.
For more information and guidance, you and your student can also visit the First-Year Experience website!