Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The First Six Weeks: A Critical Time in the Life of A College Freshman

It is almost time for you and your family to come back to campus and move your student in their residence hall room.  As a parent, many thoughts may be running through your head about your student’s well-being once you are gone, if they will make friends, how they will perform in classes and a host of other things.
Living in the residence halls is just one way for your student to begin to find their niche and begin to make connections across campus.  Campus organization and community involvement are some other ways. 

Here are some tips for you to share with your student as he/she prepares for a successful career at Northern Arizona University:

Attend the first floor meeting.
This is a critical event for residents to meet each other and begin to establish relationships.  The resident assistant will go over policies and procedures and other critical information pertaining to the residential community, as well as answer any questions students may have. 

Begin to establish a schedule.
Your student already knows when they have class, but they will also have to schedule time for studying, exercising, eating, relaxation and of course, calling home! A planner is a useful tool in helping students stay organized and on track with assignments, meetings and other obligations. 

Relationships with professors are critical.
The college learning environment is much different from high school and now your student must take full responsibility for their learning.  Professors will not give constant reminders about due dates; students are expected to use the course syllabus as a guide.  Remember, professors are humans too.  Encouraging them to visit a professor during office hours could do nothing but improve their overall classroom experience.

Ask for help.
There is no need to attempt to navigate the Lumberjack life without assistance.  Faculty and staff are more than willing to assist students.  After all, our jobs do not exist without them! If your student needs tutoring, the Student Learning Centers are available.  Resident assistants are trained to work with students and direct them to proper resources and staff members in the Office of Student Life are more than willing to meet with students as well. 

The best thing you can do for your student is to continue to be supportive.  Encouraging reminders and care packages from home are just a few ways to provide that support.  If you as a parent or family member need ideas on how to support your student, Parent and Family Services is here for you.  Be sure to subscribe to The Backpack, our parent newsletter for updates about campus life.

We will see you back on campus in three weeks!


Crystal Nance
Parent and Family Services Coordinator

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