Sometimes, college just gets hard to handle. Heavy class loads and a fast-paced setting are difficult to juggle for anyone, let alone new college students. Luckily, they have their family to support them! If you’ve noticed that your college-age children don’t seem happy in higher ed, here are some tips for how to help a college student who is struggling to succeed in their new environment.
Remind Them To Communicate
Many kids feel like if they are going to do it right, they have to do it on their own. You know that isn’t true, so remind your college student that communication is one of the most powerful tools in their repertoire. Helping your child navigate the college landscape by laying out the college administration structure can show them all the resources available to them. You can also remind them that they can vent to you about stress and celebrate with you when they succeed, both with the goal of making them feel like they aren’t in this alone.
Offer A Break
The number of assignments and tests some students must complete in a single semester can leave you flabbergasted. This overwhelming workload causes academic burnout for many students. Ask your son or daughter if they want to come home for a while or if they feel that a semester off or with fewer classes would give them the time they need to clear their head. If you give them permission to slow down, they’re more likely to do so.
Because you’re their parent, your child values your opinion of them. Be clear about your expectations—your child may be setting their own expectations impossibly high because they think it’s what you want. Let your college student know that you value their happiness over their academic achievement.
Make A Care Package
While it may seem like a small gesture, a bit of gift-giving reminds your son or daughter that they still have their family to fall back on, no matter how far away they are from home. Even students getting through school virtually appreciate a reminder that there’s more to their life than constant studying!
Snacks, supplies, and personal gifts can go a long way to boost your child’s mood and give them the energy to tackle another day. If you’re having trouble thinking of gift ideas that your college student will appreciate, consider finding something themed around their studies that reignites their passion for their major!
The best way to help a college student who is struggling to succeed is to be supportive. Some students will pull away if you ask them too many questions or dote on them too much, so try to make yourself available without impacting their agency. Just reminding them that you’re there when they need you will be enough!