Most students will say living on campus is one of the best experiences of their lives. However, making the transition from living at home to living on campus does require a period of adjustment. Here are some things you can do to help ease your student’s transition:
- Talk to Their RA. Encourage your student to talk to their RA if he or she is having any issues. The residence hall staff wants to help with roommate conflicts and any other problems with they may experience. Have your student begin by talking to the RA on their floor, or the RD of the building.
- Communicate with Their Roommate. Encourage your student to communicate with their roommate about expectations and basic issues that may arise regarding living together. Many students expect that their roommates will automatically know their likes or dislikes are and what they need. Many problems can be avoided if both roommates talk to one another about what they expect.
- Encourage Your Student to Get Involved. There are many activities for residents to take part in the residence halls. For example, residents can join RHA (Residence Hall Association), which is a student leadership body; they can attend activities on their floor on topics as diverse as massage therapy and discussion of crime scene investigation by a real-life CSI employee; they can join intramural teams; or just hang out on the floor for a pizza party.
- Introduce Yourself to Your Student’s Resident Advisor. They live on the floor with the residents and can help with many student concerns and questions. The RA can be a wonderful resource, especially in the first weeks of school when students have many questions and are feeling a little homesick.
- Homesickness is Normal. Understand that it is normal for many students to feel lonely or homesick during the first weeks or months of living away from home for the first time. Encourage your student to give themselves time to adjust to the college experience and meet new friends and faculty on campus.
- Take an Interest in Your Student’s College Experience. Ask questions. Come visit.
- Student Responsibility. Help your student understand their responsibilities as a member of the campus community. When students sign their Housing Contracts, they agree to abide by the policies in the Residence Hall Guide. Encourage your student to read this important document, and to ask their RA if they have any questions about it.
- Greater Personal Freedom. Living on your own for the first time means that students will gain independence and take charge of the man choices and decisions that parents and teachers made for them in the past. While new found freedom can be exciting, in may also fell overwhelming and less predictable than what new freshmen are accustomed to. The freedom to manage their daily life is a learning process. So encourage your student to try and resolve any issues on their own and work with their RA if they need further assistance.
- Utilize Campus Resources. There are numerous resources on campus designed to create a rewarding college experience. A range of offices and programs are offered to assist our diverse campus’ needs. In addition, there are numerous sources of support such as the Office of Students Affairs, the Counseling Center, the Career Center, the Student Resource Center, their Academic Advisor, the Office of Financial Aid, and mentoring/tutoring programs offered to address various student needs.