With Move-In Day under their belts, we have a feeling students are starting to get the hang of college life (or perhaps back in the hang of college life). However, we also know that the first week of college classes can trigger some not-so-fun stressors—some of which students may not have been prepared for. To help you help your student navigate the next few weeks, we have compiled a list of a few of the most common stressors that can arise at the beginning of the semester.
College may be the first time your student has received a syllabus, and the first few syllabi are always the most intimidating. Assignments and exams run together, and suddenly it feels like everything needs to be accomplished immediately. Students like to call this “syllabus shock.” While it all may feel a bit overwhelming to your student, reassure him or her that previous students have succeeded in all the same classes; your student is not alone.
Do you remember your first time meeting a professor? Was the title “Doctor” intimidating? Your student will gradually become more comfortable approaching their professors over time, and it may be helpful to advise your student to meet with professors outside of class time. Remind your student that professors are humans too, and they are here to help.
Balancing Their Schedule
Now that your student has received their syllabi and met their professors, it is time to put together a schedule for the semester. Your student is learning to balance their schedule on their own, so prioritizing tasks and activities will take some practice. As a parent, you can reassure your student that they will find the right balance as they continue transitioning. Planners with daily to-do lists and weekly calendars are also useful items to send in a care package.
McConn is a wonderful spot on campus. The drinks and snacks are delicious, and spending points from a meal plan seems easy enough—except points are limited and require a budget too. How can your student enjoy McConn and the convenience of Trader James throughout the semester? Budgeting points will be a great way for your student to practice budgeting money outside school. If your student runs out of points one semester, then they can learn to better plan how often they want to spend points.
Your student may have a car on campus this year—a convenience they are probably thankful for! By now, your student has a parking pass and is becoming familiar with student parking lots and their locations. Since IWU doesn’t assign specific parking spots to specific students, students must familiarize themselves with where they are allowed to park. Upperclassmen parking lots are different than underclassmen parking lots. Knowing the difference is simple: Each lot has a sign posted to remind students of who is allowed to park there. When in doubt, students can also ask their RA’s to remind them of the parking rules!
Every student is unique, so some items on this list may prove to be more stressful for your student than others. Has your student run into some of these problems or others that aren’t listed? Let us know in the comments below!