Discussing Campus Safety With Your College Student

In our previous post, we discussed legislation which has been passed to aid colleges in establishing procedures and sharing information regarding campus safety.  This is an important beginning in keeping college students safe.  However, the actions that college students take each day are also important in increasing their safety.  Parents can, and should, encourage students to increase their awareness of their actions on a daily basis. Parents and students might also consider some of the following factors, or ask questions regarding them, as they visit colleges during the admissions process.

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Legislation for Campus Safety: Reassurance for Parents of College Students

As college parents, one of our major concerns when our student heads off to college may be her safety.  We want our student to do well academically, we want her to be healthy, we want her to be happy, but first and foremost, we want her to be safe. The safety of college students has become an increasingly important topic in recent years

Ideally, a three way partnership will do the most to help keep college students safe.  Parents need to talk to their students about safety, students need to exercise awareness and behave responsibly, and colleges need to take precautions to keep students safe.

Concern for the safety of college students is a growing national concern in light of recent tragedies on college campuses. Two laws in particular have been passed which attempt to begin to address this concern.

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Sending Your College Student a Care Package

We’ve written a previous post about using the old fashioned technology of snail mail to reach out and let your student know that you are thinking of him.  We hope that you’re staying in touch often.  Sometimes, however, we like to make a bigger gesture.  Students always love receiving care packages from home.  The thought counts, but receiving presents – even small tokens – really brightens a student’s day!

Care packages are appropriate at any time of the semester.  In fact, a package that is unexpected is often a double bonus.  However, care packages may be especially appreciated at particular times.  Sometime during those first couple of weeks for new students is a time when a package may be especially meaningful.  This might also be a good time to include a small item or two that the student might have forgotten to pack in the first place. If there is a special event, such as a concert or award ceremony, in which your college student is participating, and you can’t be there, a care package may be appreciated.   Other times when students especially appreciate a package can be those particularly stressful times of midterm and final exams.  Something that might make your student smile, and think about home, will be meaningful.  And if it contains food, it will be appreciated all the more!

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Undecided Students: How Can You Help? – Part 2

This is the second of two posts that consider students who enter college without declaring a major. In the first post, we considered reasons why your college student might feel undecided at the beginning of college. In this post we look at some ways in which you might help your student explore some options.

Once you’ve begun to think about why your student might be undecided about a major, you will recognize that the work of coming to a decision about a potential major will need to be done by your student.  But you may wonder whether there is anything that you can do to help and support him in the process.  The answer is yes!

Read moreUndecided Students: How Can You Help? – Part 2

Undecided Students: Who Are They? – Part 1

This is the first of two posts which consider students who enter college without declaring a major.

Many students enter college undecided about their major.  Many students who enter college as undecided students worry that they are undecided.  Many students who enter college declaring a major are really undecided.

Some students may be unwilling, unable, or unready to make a choice of an area of study at the point when they enter college.  If she can see this as an opportunity, rather than a problem, your student will keep many doors open as she explores and gathers information during her first year.

As the parent of a college student you can help your student as he moves toward making what he may feel is one of the most important decisions in his life.  It may help if you try to understand why your student may be undecided and reassure him that beginning his college career as an undecided (or undeclared) major may be just fine.  (If it is the policy of your student’s school that he must declare a major when he enters, then you might remind him, even as he begins, that he will find that he may change his mind as he learns more about both his intended major and himself.)

Read moreUndecided Students: Who Are They? – Part 1

Parenting Your College Transfer Student: Supporting Your New Transfer Student

This is the third in a series of posts about the process of transferring to a new college.  Our first two posts considered the decision to transfer and the process of transferring.  This post looks at settling in to the new institution.

 A transfer to a new college is a fresh start.  Much like entering college as a new, first-year student, this fresh start can be both exciting and intimidating.  As a college parent, you can help your student make this adjustment smoothly.

Be supportive of your student as he goes through a transition period.  Help him be prepared for a time of adjustment.  Yes, he is familiar with college life, but his new college may be very different from his old institution.  He may feel out of place at first.  He will have an “in between” status for a while.  He is not a brand new freshman, but he is new and unfamiliar with things.  This will pass, but he needs to be prepared to give it some time.  He can’t assume that things will be done in the same way as they were in his old school.  Encourage him to ask questions often.

Read moreParenting Your College Transfer Student: Supporting Your New Transfer Student

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