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Parents

Academics

The Georgia Southern Mission reads: Academic Excellence.

In order to support this mission the Academic Success Center (ASC) has developed a student-centered facility dedicated to promoting academic success among all students.

In spite of the numerous facilities on campus conducive to academic success, the burden of that success falls on none other than the student him/herself. He/she must first want to succeed before any of these facilities on campus will be as useful as they are meant to be.

For more information about the Academic Success Center, visit http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/success

Adjusting

When it is time for the student to finally go off to college, it is understandably difficult for parents to let go of them. It is difficult for a parent to watch their child go from total dependence on them to the beginnings of complete independence. This is an even more daunting experience when mixed with the negative stigmas associated with college life and the residence halls. It is uncomfortable for a parent to watch, as they seem to suddenly lose direct ‘control’ or ‘authority’ over their child. Furthermore, it is also nerve-wracking to observe and hope that all the values that you, as a parent, have instilled in your child up until this parting point will stick. In spite of all these valid fears, it is important to realize that though you may not be aware of every little aspect of your child’s life while they are away at college, parents have not lost all control of their child. Even in college, parents do have the ability to influence their child’s decision-making processes, but it is important that they somewhat understand what their child is going through during his/her first year of college.

Overview

The first year of college for a student, as one can imagine, is the most overwhelming experience for him/her because of the many new things that a student has to manage all at once:

  • Meeting people from many different backgrounds, and cultures who look, talk, and act, different from them;
  • Dealing with the whole new concept of freedom;
  • Dealing with having to develop new study habits;
  • Dealing with a roommate if they have never had one before;
  • Dealing with being motivated to get up for class every day;
  • Dealing with homesickness;
  • Balancing academics and extracurricular activities;
  • Making new friends;
  • And the list goes on.

Knowing that their child has to go through all these things at once, parents almost instinctively want to help and fix the situation for their child. However, in order for the child to get the most rewarding college experience, parents can help by taking a step aside from their child’s life by allowing the child to make some decisions by him/herself- the parent’s role has now switched from being ‘supervisor’ to ‘advisor’. In other words, instead of telling the child what he/she needs to do in a particular situation, the parents could suggest what the child might want to do. College is the stepping-stone for the student into adulthood and it cannot be done unless the student learns to make his/her own decisions.

Homesickness

As already mentioned, when a student goes off to college for the very first time, he/she is bombarded with newness. Some students can handle it well, others need time and yet for others, homesickness is just more than they can handle. For those who need time and for those who cannot handle it at all, it is comforting to know that they have the support of their parents and family members, their CL and also the school’s counseling center. No matter who is providing help, the key is to remember that the student needs support and understanding and not directions on what they need to do to get rid of the homesickness.

Roommate Conflicts

Living in the residence hall their freshman year is the first time many students have ever had a roommate. In addition to this, the student’s roommate might be someone from a completely different background than their own causing the student to be a little overwhelmed with all the differences. As such is the case in many situations, conflicts are bound to occur. Most often, the students are able to resolve these issues themselves and without outside intervention. However, there are instances where this might not be the case-thus it is important for the student to know his/her resources:

  1. Their Community Leader (CL)
  2. The student him/herself
  3. Their parents

CLs are individuals who are there to assist the student with his/her needs. At the beginning of the semester, the CL places a Roommate Agreement form in each room. This form which serves as a binding contract between the roommates outlines areas such as guest visitation, noise, study times and much more. The residents are required to fill out this form because it greatly helps the CL to fairly and quickly facilitate the mediation process between the roommates if a conflict were to arise. As a freshman, or as one experiencing the residence halls for the first time, there is much that is new, confusing and overwhelming; but as with any of a student’s problems, it is important to know that they have a CL who is willing to help and do whatever he/she can to appease the situation, but it is the student’s job to take that initiative.

Being that many students have never shared a room or personal belongings, it is important that they learn to be considerate of their roommate’s personal space, time and possessions as well as learn to compromise in certain situations. In times, where a student may not want to compromise he/she must be assertive, yet respectful and mature as to why the issue at hand cannot be compromised. If the incident gets out of hand, the student has the residence hall staff (this includes their CL’s), for support and advice. In all respects, it is important to know that several problems and conflicts can be prevented between students if they attempt to see things from their roommate’s point of view and not just their own.

Finally, students can turn to their parents for support. As has been the theme throughout this article, when a student calls and complains about their roommate, many parents are quick to want to solve the problem themselves. However, more often than not, a parent’s involvement in their child’s conflict with his/her roommate worsens the situation. Here, again, the best way for parents to help their child deal with a roommate conflict is to take on the advisor role and to suggest what the child might consider doing, while allowing the child, with the parent’s general guidance, to handle the conflict him/herself.

For more information on helping your child adjust to college visit http://studentsupport.georgiasouthern.edu/counseling/resources/for-parents/.

Alcohol and Drugs

Georgia Southern University enforces alcohol and zero-tolerance drug policies on campus. For complete information, students must read the Code of Student Conduct – University Policy and Procedures.

As a parent of a university student, you have the right to view these policies for yourself. To view that information, please follow the link listed below.

Last updated: 4/15/2013