Once you've stopped sniffling, here are some tips to help you support your student during this time of tremendous growth and change:
Keep in touch
Even if you're not hearing much from your student, a letter a week, a phone call, a text, or a box of cookies can show your son or daughter aware of your support. The greatest need for contact with home typically is during the early weeks of the semester; during times of greatest academic pressure; during any crisis.
Listen to your student
Your son or daughter may make an occasional "dump" call — you'll hear nothing but complaints. Often, just talking about the problem makes him or her feel better and ready to move on, even if you're left drained. Most of all, students want to know that you understand their feelings and the stress of being a student.
Don't ask about grades all the time
The adjustment to college takes time, and midterm grades may not be indicative of a student's potential. Sometimes it takes a few semesters before a student realizes the amount and quality of study time he or she needs.
Encourage your student to get involved in at least one activity
It doesn't matter what the activity is as long as he or she has a feeling of connection to other students and to the community. Encourage a visit to the Office of Student Activities and Involvement. There are more than 300 registered student organizations on campus!
If you're concerned about a situation, call Betty Wagner, assistant director of parent services
She can direct you to the best person on campus to help you. Call her at 989-774-1003 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't try to always "fix it" for your student
As young adults, students need to find solutions for themselves. You can encourage them to seek out one of the many places on campus that can help them.
Stay involved in your student's college life
Mark your calendar for the Family Day football game on Oct. 8. Visit this web site to keep up with campus news and tips.
Don't react too hastily to roommate concerns
Often, it takes several weeks for roommates to adjust to one another. However, don't let serious problems go too long. If your student has a roommate who violates his or her space or comfort in the room, insist that your student talk to a resident assistant.
Handy phone numbers if you or your student has problems
Your student may call you first to ask for help. To connect with on-campus resources, here are some numbers to call for direction and support: Office of Student Life 989-774-3016; Residence Life 989-774-3111 (students should call their RA or hall director); Campus Police 989-774-3081.