What to Expect: A Month by Month Guide for Parents​​​​​​​​​​​​

Helpful tips to stay connected with your child throughout the school year.

We recognize the critical role parents can play in their student's educational experience. We hope this guide helps you navigate this exciting time with your child.

Emotions your student may experience:

  • Enthusiasm

  • Apprehension (due to new surroundings)

  • Fear (fear of the unfamiliar)

  • Loneliness (especially if they know no one when coming to UF)

  • Homesick

  • Nervousness

 

What you can do to help:

  • Encourage your student to attend class regularly

  • Encourage your student to establish good study habits now

  • Avoid asking if your student is homesick. Most times this homesickness passes.

  • Listen to your student

  • While it would be nice to see them again so soon, encourage your student to stay on campus and not go home for the first four weeks.  This is when many friendships are formed.

  • Refer your student to the many support services available if needed.


September

Emotions your student may experience:

  • Enthusiasm

  • Apprehension

  • Overwhelmed

  • Anxiety

  • Homesickness

  • Comfort (getting used to new surroundings)

 

What you can do to help:

  • Listen to your student

  • If your student is ill, encourage him/her to visit the Health Center

  • Ask your student how things are going

  • Encourage your student to make an appointment with the course instructor if he/she is having difficulty in a course

  • Send a care package or card (e-card will do) to let your student know you are thinking about them

  • Show interest in the student’s school and ask open-ended questions

  • If your student is having roommate problems, encourage him/her to speak with his/her resident assistant (RA)

  • Encourage your student to utilize the Oiler Success Center to discuss adjustment issues

  • Encourage your student to attend Major Fest


Emotions your student may experience:

  • Overwhelmed (trying to balance demands of school and extracurricular activities)

  • Disappointment or Pride (over grades and class performance)

  • Nervousness (mid-terms)

  • Anxious

  • Comfort (adjusting to “home away from home”)

 

What you can do to help:

  • If your student is struggling with a class or classes, make sure you encourage them to utilize the tutoring center

  • Offer advice if asked but do not tell them what to do; give suggestions about how to handle the problem

  • Encourage your student to make an appointment with the course instructor if he/she is having difficulty in a course

  • Send a care package or card (e-card will do) to let your student know you are thinking about them


Emotions your student may experience:

  • Anxious (semester is almost over)

  • Overwhelmed (major projects or exams often due before or right after Thanksgiving break)

  • Nervousness (having to choose classes for next term)

  • Stressed (trying to balance workload and social life)

  • Excitement (getting to go home)

 

What you can do to help:

  • If your student is struggling with a class or classes, make sure you encourage them to utilize the tutoring center

  • Encourage your student to make an appointment with his/her advisor to discuss courses for the next semester and to get registered

  • With the added stress your student may be experiencing, encourage him/her to be involved in positive, healthy behaviors such as exercising and eating properly


Emotions your student may experience:

  • Scared (not sure what to expect of final exams)

  • Sadness (leaving new campus friends)

  • Frustration or Pride (with their performance for the semester)

  • Excitement (end of 1st semester of college)

 

What you can do to help:

  • Encourage your student to take care of him/herself during this very stressful time, making sure to eat well and to get enough sleep

  • If your student has any questions regarding grades, he/she should meet with the professor of the class in question

  • Remind your student to review the information regarding the time and location of each final exam

  • Discuss what new supplies they might need for classes or their dorm room to help prepare for the spring semester. Plan a shopping trip together!

January


Emotions your student may experience:

  • Apprehension (new semester beginning)
  • Excitement (returning to college friends and new classes)
  • Independent (accustomed to living on their own)
  • Homesick (could have trouble returning to college)

What you can do to help:

  • Offer a listening ear. Sometimes just allowing your child to express exactly what they're feeling without interruption is just what they need.
  • Don't be offended if your student's confidence and independence lead to fewer calls home. This doesn't mean you aren't missed. It simply means they are becoming more comfortable in their surroundings.

February


Emotions your student may experience:

  • S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder)
  • Excitement (making plans for spring break)
  • Uncertainty (beginning to make summer job or full-time employment plans post graduation)
What you can do to help:
  • Send a care package of their favorite things to help with the winter blues.
  • Inquire about spring break plans and see if there's anything you can do to help.

March


Emotions your student may experience:

  • Overwhelmed (managing school work, extra-curriculars, prepping for break)
  • Apprehension (last day to drop a course for the semester typically falls at the end of March)
  • Excitement (spring break and Easter break are both in March)

What you can do to help:

  • Recommend they make a list of priorities. Sometimes jotting things down in order of importance can make all the difference.
  • If your child is coming home for Easter break, make plans to welcome them home warmly with some of their favorite comforts.

April

Emotions your student may experience:
  • Stress (coming back to campus with only one month left until the semester ends, final exams)
  • Accomplishment (end of the semester or graduation is near)
  • Frustration or Pride (with their performance for the semester)

What you can do to help:

  • Acknowledge their accomplishments and allow them to relish in this moment. Whether this is their first year or their last, this final homestretch can be filled with excitement, pride, accomplishment and stress. Offer a listening ear and a warm hug.
  • If they are graduating, remind them to stay on top of important commencement tasks. They should receive regular communication, but if they need additional guidance they can stop by the Oiler Success Center.


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