The start of the college journey is an exciting time. It's also a time with a lot of transition - for both your student and you! Being in a new learning environment surrounded by new people present both exciting adventures and challenges ahead.
Tips for supporters
Recognize this stage represents a big change in the student/family member dynamic. Your student is finding a 'new normal' and that isn't always easy. Recognizing this transition won't always be picture perfect, you can help by empowering them to embrace this new adulthood and meet new challenges head on.
Encourage your student to explore different majors and academic programs. It's never too early to plan for their future career, so encourage them to connect with the Career Development Center early. They offer a variety of tools to help, including career assessments and one-on-one consultations. During this time, don't be surprised if they change their direction a time or two! It's quite normal for them to chart new paths as they discover new academic programs and opportunities.
Urge your student to meet with faculty and staff on a regular basis – they're here to help! For assistance with general education requirements, degree requirements, and bulletin interpretations, encourage your student to schedule a meeting with an academic advisor – they can also help them prepare for their next semester registration! If your student is struggling in a class, have them connect with their professors and/or have them meet tutoring and academic services support.
Encourage your student to get involved on campus. Between campus events, social opportunities, and volunteer opportunities, there is so much to get involved in here at CMU. They can do all of this online through Engage Central, an online portal where they can browse campus opportunities.
Communicate regularly and often. Stay in touch with your student. Text them, email them and give them an occasional phone call. It may not seem like it, but this can go a long way in showing support for your student.
Still interested in educating yourself more about your student's experience? Review our Frequently Asked Questions page.