Congratulations, Parents! Your student(s) and you have made it through the first half of the first semester! They have registered for classes for next semester and are winding down this one. The closer that they get to finals, the more stress they (and you) may feel. Here are a few suggestions on how to support your student during this time, while still fostering their independence.
Monitoring and identifying any changes in behavior is the first step. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Even though you are parenting from afar, remember that you raised this child for 18 years. You know their personality and their habits. If you see changes in behavior, it could be that they are having a hard time managing the stress that comes at this point in the year, especially if they are a freshman and this is their first round of finals. Suggest that your student reach out to one of the many support systems on campus, including:
Housing and Residential Life
The Student Achievement Center http://www.css.edu/Administration/Academic-Support-Services.html
The Student Center For Health And Well-Being
As stress levels increase, it is not uncommon for students to cut back on the things that they may need most this point in the semester. Encourage them to stay active and involved in the extra-curricular activities and sports that they enjoy. As important as studying is, is it also important to have an outlet to release some of the pressure that they may be feeling. The time management skills that they will learn will serve them long after they leave the halls of CSS.
Eating and sleep habits may also slide, as they feel pressed for time. Stress the importance that these factors play in keeping their immune system strong and maintaining their health. Now would also be a great time to send a care package with some of their favorite things. They will find comforted and supported when receiving something that reminds them of home. It won’t be long until they are home on break and this could be just what they need to get through these next few weeks.
As we wind down this semester, take note of how things go for your student. This will be valuable information and something that you can discuss with them while they are home on break. Again, they are getting much more than just an academic experience while at St. Scholastica. They are developing skills including, stress management techniques, that will serve them the rest of their life.