As a parent, you play an important role in your student’s success at university. While it is important to give them independence at university, your student may need your support from time to time. Here are some tips on how to support your student during their transition to university life.
Remind them that while change can be stressful, they are not alone: academic and personal help exists at Western. University is a time for growth. Encourage your student to keep an open-mind, and be supportive of new friends, interests, and decisions.
Listen, validate, and encourage. This may be the first time your student faces academic challenges. Remind him/her that they always have your love and support.
From study habits to writing tests, everyone faces challenges. Highlight the help available from peers, professors, and campus services. Help them prepare for success in advance with programs such as the Summer Academic Writing Clinic.
Discuss what your student expects from Western, what Western expects from them, and consider how they will meet these expectations. Ask your student how they plan to take initiative, respect deadlines, and be independent in their learning.
Help your student recognize when they need assistance. Direct them to Western’s services. All are confidential and professional, and most are completely free.
Your student is gaining independence and learning how to function in “the real world.” Students need space to adjust. Offer advice, but respect that young adults have to make decisions for themselves.
Students should be aware of their finances, no matter who pays for tuition. Discuss budgets, who pays for what, and how to manage a credit card. Encourage them to seek out financial aid and information as needed, especially if money management is a new skill.
A healthy work-life balance is key. Encourage your student to stay active, take advantage of safety services, and reach out to health and wellness resources, if desired.
Teach life skills (such as cooking and laundry) before your student leaves home. Encourage healthy relationships with roommates, and talk about effective communication. Help them prepare for a great experience away from home.
Students appreciate hearing a friendly voice or seeing a familiar face. Schedule a call or video-chat with them, even if it’s just to say “hi”. Your student probably misses you more than they’re willing to admit.