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College Talk Blog

Keeping Up with Your New College Freshman

If you have a new college freshman in the family about whom you have concerns in terms of their ability to adjust to their new college life, consider working with your new college student as a mentoring and accountability partner.  If the answer to any of the following questions is yes, you need to set up a way to regularly communicate and support your new freshman until you see evidence that they are adjusting well to their new environment and routine:
  • Is your son or daughter new to getting out of bed on time for class, getting enough rest or managing heavier academic responsibilities without being reminded?
  • Does your son or daughter have any physical or mental condition that presents a potential roadblock to college success?
  • Does your son or daughter have a learning disability?
  • Does your son or daughter have difficulty meeting new people and making friends?
  • Do you think the college that your son or daughter has chosen is a significant academic stretch for them?
If any of these conditions exist, talk to your son or daughter about setting up a regular check in schedule with you to assess how they are doing in terms of class attendance, keeping up with assignments, making friends and getting involved with appropriate campus organizations.  Ask them if they would be comfortable signing a letter to the college records officials that allows you to see grade and attendance information at least for the first year of college. 
Freshmen are in a totally new environment in college.  They are learning new ways to succeed.  They are encountering new ways to fail.  In college, one way to fail is to do nothing.  Doing nothing is what people sometimes choose when they feel overwhelmed.  If you have reason to be concerned about how well your freshman will adjust, it is less expensive to be proactive than to react to poor grades or academic suspension later.

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