I Share 10 Tips that Helped My New College Student Succeed

by Micki
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My son is in his first year of university right now. It’s a tough time. He’s adjusting to new expectations. When he was in high school, his teachers would remind students of upcoming exams, allow make-up exams, and generally help students in any way they could.

In university, things are different. Professors expect students to be self-directed and organized. Classes are harder, and expectations are sometimes unclear.

10 Tips to Help Your New College Student Succeed - image of university student studying in a university library

It’s been a challenge. He’s had to learn new study skills, and deal with more challenging classes. On top of that, university is much larger, with some lectures with hundreds of students. It’s a lot.

Just a note! I talk about university a bit here, but these tips apply equally to college students!

His first year has taught me the importance of guidance and support. From one mom, who’s survived most of the first year, here are some tips to help your new college student succeed.

10 Tips to Help Your New College Student Succeed

Transitioning from high school to university is a monumental step for any student. For parents, supporting your new college student through this phase is crucial. Even though your student is almost an adult, they can still use your help and guidance.

1. Encourage Independence

University is a time for students to explore their independence. Encourage your child to take responsibility for their studies, time management, and personal care. This autonomy is a critical part of their development and success in higher education.

This is a tricky. I’ve struggled this year to maintain a fine line of providing support as needed, but allowing my son to learn some hard lessons on his own as well.

2. Promote Effective Study Habits

Help your student develop effective study habits by encouraging a regular study schedule, a distraction-free study space, and active learning techniques. Discuss the importance of balancing study time with breaks to prevent burnout.

In high school, my son studied mostly at the kitchen table, but this didn’t work in uni – there were just too many distractions. We set him up with a desk and comfortable chair in his room, and it’s helped him focus.

3. Foster Open Communication

Keep the lines of communication open. Encourage your child to share their experiences, challenges, and successes. This support system is invaluable, providing encouragement and advice when needed.

The transition to college is a lot for any kid, and it can be pretty hard to share when they’re struggling!

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4. Guide Time Management

College life is a mix of academic, social, and personal responsibilities. Help your student create a balanced schedule that includes time for studying, extracurricular activities, socializing, and rest.

5. Support Health and Wellbeing

Stress and anxiety can be significant challenges. Encourage your student to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep. Remind them of the importance of self-care and seeking support when needed.

6. Encourage Engagement

Participation in university life is key. Encourage your student to join clubs, societies, or sports teams. These activities provide valuable social connections and can be a great way to relieve stress. Whether they join a debate team, make friends in class, join a study group, visit FreshEssays, or just chat with the student next to them in class, it’s helpful to make as many connections as they can.

7. Provide Financial Guidance

Discuss financial responsibility and budgeting. Help your student understand their expenses and how to manage their money wisely. Financial stress can greatly impact a student’s university experience.

8. Emphasize the Importance of Networking

University is not only about academic success but also about building networks. Encourage your student to connect with peers, professors, and professionals in their field of interest. These connections can be invaluable for their future career.

9. Offer Unconditional Support

Let your student know that you’re there for them, no matter what. Your unconditional support provides a foundation of security and confidence as they navigate the challenges of university life.

10. Celebrate Achievements

Acknowledge and celebrate your student’s achievements, big or small. This positive reinforcement encourages continued effort and recognizes their hard work.

In conclusion, transitioning to university is a significant change that requires adjustment, perseverance, and support. By providing guidance, promoting healthy habits, and encouraging independence, you can help your new college student navigate this exciting chapter of their life with confidence. Remember, every student’s journey is unique, and your support plays a crucial role in their success.

For parents navigating this journey, it’s essential to adapt to your child’s growing independence while providing a steady source of support and guidance. Reflecting on my son’s first year, these tips not only aim to help students thrive academically but also support their overall well-being and personal growth.

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