Give Her Space to Grow
Be attentive to your student’s needs, but not overly attentive. Listen to everything that is going on in her life if she is willing to share. Give lots of encouragement and support while recognizing that her time in college is her time to develop into an independent critical thinker. Resisting the temptation to solve your student’s problems for her will be difficult for both of you, but will ultimately help her grow into a mature woman.
Never Underestimate the Value of "Snail" Mail
Most college students love getting mail. Sending newspaper clippings, photos, stories, cards, letters, and care packages can very easily make your student's day and will help her still feel connected to home.
Email Your Student
While there’s no substitute for old fashioned mail, using email once a week to send a story about family, friends, a pet, etc, will be much appreciated. Your student might not respond right away, but the thought will not go unnoticed. It is also a good idea to set up expectations for communication. This might mean setting up a time every week that you call or encouraging her to email when she has time.
Encourage Your Student to Stay on Campus, Especially for the First Few Weekends
The temptation to go home will likely be strong for your student, and you’d likely love to have her visit. However, developing connections to the campus during the first few weeks of school are essential to creating a positive college experience. Instead of having her leave campus, offer to come visit and encourage her to take you to an event on campus such as a show or sports event.
Encourage Her to Find and Use the Campus Resources
If your student is having a problem, encourage her to find the people on campus that can help her. Again pointing her in the right direction will be much more helpful than picking up the phone and trying to solve the problem for her. Provide unlimited support and encouragement to her, reminding her of all the skills she has as she works on solving the problem.
Stress the Importance of Involvement
Your student will soon realize that there is more to college life than just classes. While she might need some time to adjust to the new rigors of college course work, encourage your student to explore the involvement possibilities on campus. Starting small by volunteering once a week or attending hall programs is a great way to start meeting new people and making the most of all the possibilities Cedar Crest affords.
Don't Shy Away from Difficult Conversations
Talking to your student about alcohol, drugs, money, sex,
mental and physical health is incredibly important. Take the time while your student is still at home to remind her about the importance of making good decisions and remind her about the resources available to her on campus to help her learn more about these topics.