Student Life

What are some issues students may face their Freshman Year?

  1. Initial adjustment to academic environment, new social life.
  2.  Freshmen begin to realize that life at college is not as perfect as they were led to believe by parents, teachers, or counselors. Old problems seem to continue and new ones are added. An external reality they had put their hopes in has failed. 
  3. Pre-finals stress starts to emerge; preparation begins for taking exams.
  4. Extracurricular time strain, seasonal parties and end of the semester get-togethers, religious activities. 

 

Should I have expectations of my students?

You are still the parent and it’s OK to have expectations. Yes, your student is an adult now, but where is it written that your parenting days are over? Obviously, a curfew is going to be hard to enforce, but a policy of class attendance need not be. Bad behavior had consequences when the student lived under your roof and it can have consequences now. What those consequences are should be made plain, perhaps even put in writing, prior to your student leaving home. Make it clear that you expect regular class attendance and that you expect the best effort the student can give. 

Should I expect change from my student?

College and the experiences associated with it can affect changes in social, vocational, and personal behavior choices. An up-to-now wallflower may become a sorority member; a pre-med major may discover that biology is not their thing, a high school radical may become a college brainiac. You can’t stop change, but it is to your son or daughter’s advantage to accept it. 

How often should I contact my student?

Although freshmen are typically eager to experience all the away-from-home independence they can get, most are still anxious for the family ties and the security those bring. Avoid the urge to be a “helicopter” parent. We live in the age of instant communication. However, resist the urge to call his or her cell phone, to IM, or to e-mail on a daily basis. Let your student breathe a little. Let your student call you. Remember, he or she misses you, too. 

What if my student is homesick?

Encourage them to get involved and find activities that will get them integrated with campus. Strongly discourage them from coming home every weekend during the first semester. This is a natural tendency, but they need to start thinking of JSU as their current home. 

What if my student doesn’t seem homesick, should I worry?

The first few days and weeks of school are jam-packed with meeting new people, learning a new routine, and taking on new activities. These are the most important days in the new life of students. During this time they will immerse themselves into the university for the first time–meeting new people and forming lifelong friendships. They definitely miss family and the comforts of home, but there will be much to occupy their time and minds. 

What can I do to help my student be successful at JSU?

Your son or daughter is about to enter a time that is both frightening and exciting, a period of joy, pain, discovery, and disappointment. Your student is beginning a period in their life that will leave them very different from what they previously were and you’ll experience all the happiness and defeats along with them. Here are some guidelines to help the transition be a successful one.