New Year’s Resolutions for College Parents – and Their College Students

New Year is often the time for new beginnings.  Fortunately, for college students, the new year also often brings a new semester with its fresh start as well.  We offer here 10 New Year’s resolutions for college parents and 10 resolutions for you to pass on to your college student.  Enjoy your fresh start – and make this a great year for you and your college student!

For college parents


1)      Resolve to work harder at the “letting go” process.  Work to remind yourself that your student is becoming the independent individual that you want her to be.  Call a bit less.  Text a bit less.  Respect her decisions.  Sometimes, bite your tongue.

2)      Resolve to meet all deadlines on time. Pay tuition bills on time.  File the FAFSA early.  Make housing deposit on time.  Make Family Weekend reservations or Commencement reservations early.

3)      Resolve to accept the changes in your student.  Enjoy the adult he is becoming.

4)      Resolve not to ask your student whether she’s found a summer job, or chosen her major, or what she’ll do after she graduates.  At least, don’t ask as often.

5)      Resolve to spend more time listening to your student this year – really listening – between the lines.

6)      Resolve to trust the values you have taught your student as you raised him. Look for signs of those values in his actions.

7)      Resolve to talk to your student about college finances this year. Let her be part of the planning for tuition bills, loans, scholarships.  Help her understand the bigger picture.

8)      Resolve to do something new for yourself this year.  Take up a new hobby, nurture yourself.  Let your student see you as a role model.

9)      Resolve to review and/or rethink your ultimate goals for your college student. What do you really want for him from his college experience?  Is it all in his GPA?  Does it involve a career?  Life satisfaction?  Fulfillment?  Think long-term.

10)  Resolve to tell your college student as often as you can that you are proud of her and you know she’s accomplishing great things.

For college students


1) Resolve to get out of the residence hall and get more involved on campus this semester.

2) Resolve to adopt some new study habits – and to improve your class attendance this semester.

3)      Resolve to make this a healthy semester – eat better, exercise more, sleep more, drink responsibly.

4)      Resolve to control your computer or TV time.  Make sure it is balanced with your other activities.

5)      Resolve to create – and try to stick to – a budget.  Keep track of where your money goes.

6)      Resolve to take a new look at your Facebook page.  Is it something you want future employers to see?

7)      Resolve to keep the drama in perspective.  Don’t get involved in residence hall soap operas.  Keep rumors under control.

8)      Resolve to tackle whatever monster is threatening you.  Is it time management?  Is it drinking or drugs?  Is it romantic or sexual relationships?  Is it your friends?  Is it partying?  Is it academics?  Whatever it is, name it – and tackle it.

9)      Resolve to reevaluate your college friendships and habits.  These are often formed in the first few weeks of school.  Now that you know more people and you know more about college, consider whether you need to make some changes. If not, let your friends know how much you appreciate them.

10)  Resolve to challenge yourself – comfortably – in some area of your life.  What can you do to stretch yourself this year?

We hope that these are some useful resolutions – for any time of the year.

Bonus: Parents – resolve to bookmark College Parent Central – or subscribe to our RSS feed – to continue to get information and support as you navigate the next few exciting years.  The more information that you have, the better armed you will be to help your student, and to feel more secure.

Good luck!  Happy New Year!

Related Posts:

Helping Your College Student “Supersize” His College Experiences

Why You Should Encourage Your College Student to Get Involved on Campus

Why College Parents Might Be Interested in Student Engagement

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2 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions for College Parents – and Their College Students”

  1. Martha – Although we don’t focus on any particular population, I hope that the information on College Parent Central is useful to all parents who have students in college. There’s so much to think about and know, that it can be overwhelming. Good luck with your dissertation!

  2. Working on my dissertation which focuses on African American students who attend Predominantely White Institutions. My hope is that will have information that focuses on this population and their parents/families. Thank you-Martha Mathis

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