What They Want Every Freshman To Know
You only get to be a freshman in college once, so before you go, our interns want to share some advice. While none of them know what it is like to start college during a pandemic and that will create a unique set of circumstances, you will still have some great experiences.
The beginning of your first year in college is overwhelming, stressful, but most importantly exciting. Looking back, you want to have the best memories and have made the year something you will keep with you for the rest of your life. Moving to an unfamiliar place where you don’t know the area or a lot of people can be intimidating and challenging. But even during these unique times, you will be able to make new friends, take interesting classes, take advantage of campus resources – everyone from school administrators to professors to your friends and family wants to see you succeed.
Some of their advice stems from mistakes made, which is perfectly normal and expected. Some are regrets that they wish they could do-over. And sure, we all want to carve out our own journeys and paths, but perhaps some of their suggestions will make you feel that you are not alone.
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But, if we, your parents, could impart one piece of advice is that you should call or text your parents. I personally did not expect a call every day but the daily texts just to say that they were okay, went a very long way. And, in keeping the advice equal, we turned to our mom bloggers, all of whom have different parent approaches, and asked them what is the advice you would give your parent of a college student self.
- Allow my child to figure things out on their own. They will come to you if they need to.
- Understand that this is as much of an adjustment for me as it is for my child.
- Try new things – cooking classes, volunteer, read, or something that has been challenging to take the time to do.
Bring big sunglasses so no matter how hard you’re crying; you can put them on and keep walking. Remember, you have trained for eighteen years for this moment of independence and as hard as it is, make a smooth transition by not lingering. Get them situated, even make their bed one last time, but then it’s time to go home. Let them be the guide now as far as telephone calls, texts, and general communication. I always sent a good morning and I love you text and we did speak often (usually my D would call on way to class) but be prepared that the number of times you speak will change.
Sign up for all the email lists offered. (That’s how I found HUH, thank heavens!) Join the appropriate Facebook pages for parents and families (area of study, classes,etc.) especially those run by a UF-employed administrator. Connect with campus organizations on Instagram. Create a conduit of information that you can share with your student as non-intrusively as possible — via text, email, even forwarded on social media platforms. There were times that I’m sure they will tell you it is overkill, but there were times that my being able to mention an important deadline or opportunity saved their butt, gave them an edge, or just plain made their life easier. And the benefit was two-fold: we both had ongoing access to information that was helpful and often necessary, and I was able to stay in-the-know about the big picture of life without being over-present in her daily life.
Really try to push your kids to try everything they can first semester, so they can figure out what they may or may not like. A lot of times my daughter would give me an excuse and I would just say ok. Mid-semester I found out about a club I knew she would like. She said she wasn’t interested, but I pushed her and kept bugging her about it. When she finally went, it became one of her favorite things and she even became treasurer of the club. Sometimes they try to blow you off, but keep encouraging them if you know it will be worth it.
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