Living on campus can have a completely different meaning than life on campus. Depending on the type, location, setting, matriculation, and cultural diversity, your child can have a difficult time easing into it and becoming acclimated.
Life on campus can be very exciting. The freedom they have been waiting for is finally theirs. It they do not want to do something or hand a paper in, no one is going to say anything to them. There are no interim reports sent out to parents, no phone calls from teachers, truant officers, or guidance counselors. Many colleges have fraternity or sorority type clubs that have certain types of requirements that your child may not be used to. Peer pressure is heavy at this age. Some infirmaries are open all night on weekends for those students who have problems with intoxication.
Some students get carried away with all of the freedom, class pressures, life pressures, trying to fit in, trying to find themselves, balance their social and academic life and figure out if they picked the right major. Social and sexual pressures and exploration can get in the way of the balance that is required to succeed in college. Some students cannot handle it and just float their way through the semester. Dropping out and failing out becomes a reality for many.
Here are some tips to help with this issue:
· Have open dialogues between the student and parents – the more students can openly admit to pressures from campus living the better. Ask open-ended questions about what things they were not expecting when they got to college. Listen mostly and refrain from giving too much advice. Sometimes they have to learn the lessons the hard way. If you think they are engaging in unsafe or illegal practices, take action. Talk with them about your concerns and fears.
· Find out the support systems on campus – your student may be in need of certain support groups. Help them navigate the system by finding out what is available. When they become overloaded or burned out, they will not be able to make sound decisions.
· Take advantage of college visitations – many colleges have parent weekends, homecoming, etc. If the school has sport team events go to them to see the social climate of the school. Talk with the security or infirmary personnel to get a better feel for what the problems are on campus.
· Create home visits for holidays and semester breaks – invite others who may not be able to get home to visit at your house if possible. Sometimes you can get a feel for the climate of the school from them as well. Your child will love being in their old room again and having home cooked meals. Special TLC can make a big difference in their world no matter how grown up they want to be.
About the Author
Donna Marie Laino is a nurse, humorist, motivational speaker and success coach. She also uses humor as a holistic practitioner and Certified Laughter Leader to deal with life stress and health. You are invited to visit her humor blog at: http://www.healingwithhumor.blogspot.com
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Image Credit: Tulane PR on Flickr.com
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