Transitioning into college life is a unique experience for many individuals, especially for the student’s parents or guardians. Excitement, cautiousness, and nervousness are some feelings students and their guardians may develop during this new transition! Here are four key CALM strategies that can be helpful when guiding first-semester students, and yourself, through this transition:
C- Communicate with your student, and let them find their passion by making their own choices. Homesickness could happen to your student, but instead of having them come home every weekend, skype with them or talk on the phone once in awhile. Missouri State University offers numerous organizations and activities to be involved in. Maroon Madness, Study Away, Sorority and Fraternity Life, and Res Life are some organizations your student could be a part of. If you have not heard from your student, do not worry, they are getting involved and meeting new people! As their college life progresses students are going to become busier and distant in communication.
A- Assist your student with any confusion or issues that occur, if you can, or refer them to their Resident Assistant, Advisor, or to our website. Missouri State University offers multiple helpful on-campus resources. One popular on-campus resource is the Bear Claw. The Bear Claw offers tutoring, a math table, a science table, a staff member to proofread essays and so on. Another useful resource available is the Career Center. The Career Center provides editing of resumes, interest inventories, and mock interviews.
L- Listen to your student, especially when they need to vent or share their excitement about their excellent test grade. Class difficulties, roommate or relationship issues could occur and your student might express these problems to you for advice. Always be positive and supportive for your student, your student misses you as much as you miss them.
M- Motivate your student when they need an extra push. Positive reinforcement is one of the most efficient ways to support your student. Visit during family weekend to share in your student’s enthusiasm of the campus. Their first final’s week is going to be stressful and sending a care package or a gift card to their favorite coffee house may ease their troubles. Sometimes, students just need to hear, “You can do it!” or “Do not give up!” Random encouragement via text messages will always be a welcomed by your student.
The transition into college life is a learning experience for the whole family. These strategies above will hopefully ease this transition, encourage multiple ways to inform your student about resources that Missouri State University offers, and keep CALM!
Written by Miranda Minor, Senior at Missouri State University
Miranda is an Exercise and Movement Science major who plans to go to Physical Therapy school after graduation. She is President of the Peer Leader Association for the First-Year Foundations class, GEP 101, and a student assistant in the Academic Advisement Center. The photo is of Miranda and her mother.