| Parents & Family
Talking to Your Student
Stress Calendar | "I wish my parents knew…"
What to say...
College is a unique time of life. The experiences are memorable and fun, the challenges are intense and multiple, and the process of “growing up” can be exhilarating and overwhelming. Here are a few suggestions for how to speak to a student during this time.
- The first six to eight weeks are rough for most every college student. Encouraging your student to stay on campus (rather than visiting home frequently) can help him/her invest in a new community.
- Sometimes “that does sound rough,” is all your student really needs to hear.
- The temptation to “fix it” can be intense. Let your student work through some challenges on his/her own. Encourage your student to seek out the appropriate college resources to resolve the issue. The experience will do much to help him/her in life.
- Repeat laundry instructions over and over. With all the lectures and reading, this bit of information will probably be forgotten multiple times.
- It is inevitable that your student will be frustrated by a college policy. Rather than fueling the fire of discontent, try to see to explain the philosophy from the college’s perspective. Help your student see the bigger picture.
- Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s how well you listen.
- They do miss you! When you say, “Why don’t you come home more often?” it just makes your son/daughter feel guilty.
- If your son/daughter isn't a conversationalist, here are some questions that, if answered, will give you a glimpse into his/her life.
- "Tell me about your classes.”
- "What have you done this week?”
- “Who’s on your hall?”
- “Who’s your toughest professor?”
The transition from high school to college is a stressful time for new students. That stress manifests itself in different ways depending upon the individual. We encourage parents and family members to be sensitive to the potential stress being experienced by their William Jewell student. We also encourage parents to anticipate the stressful points throughout the first-year, when their student may need extra support and encouragement. Please keep the following events and dates in mind as your student begins his/her William Jewell First-Year Experience.
Leaving Home - August 17th, 2013
This can be a very disconcerting experience from some students. Students often experience anxiety over fitting in within a new community. They also might deal with anxiety related to getting along with a new roommate as well as worry over achieving academically.
Three to Four Weeks Into the Semester - September 11th – September 18th
This is a critical timeframe within the student’s experience at college. Typically, the roommate “honeymoon” period ends; homesickness can set in; and shock related to the academic rigor and demands of college begins, as students receive their first big assignments that they must complete for classes. Students need to spend the first four-five weeks on campus without interruption, as this assists them in the critical transition to college. Please try and encourage your son or daughter to stay on-campus for these first important weeks.
Midterm Examinations and Papers - October 9th – 16th
This is a stressful time for students because they have many assignments or tests coming all within a week or two of one another. This can also be a stressful time because grades are often the first mediocre or poor grades that the student has received in their life.
Second Guessing and Self Doubt - Shortly After Midterms
After confronting some of the challenges of college, some students may begin to regret their choice and talk about transferring to another college they considered or one attended by other friends. This can be normal behavior for many students. We encourage parents to discuss with their student that these challenges exist on all college campuses in one form or another and to stick it out. Things will get easier.
Thanksgiving Holiday- November 27st-December 1st
For many students, returning home for the first time can be a stressful or awkward time. Some students may wonder if their friends from home have changed while they were away. Students also may struggle to relate to you and the rules associated with being at home once again.
End of the Semester- December 10th-13th
Papers and final assignments are due. Final exams occur and require students to study intensely to prepare.
Second Semester- Full of Hope!
If students have successfully negotiated first semester, second semester typically holds fewer stressful times.
Housing Registration-late April
Many First-Year students find that housing registration can be a stressful time because they must choose who they will live with and where they will live. The variety of choices for housing are typically limited for rising sophomores, as juniors and seniors are prioritized for housing selection. Sometimes this creates stress as your student doesn’t feel like they have their first choice for housing.
Summer Planning- May 1st
“Will I have a job?” “Where am I going to live?” “Should I take summer classes?” These are some of the common questions that can create stress for students.
How can you help alleviate your student’s stress?
- Stay in touch- Call regularly, email, send a letter or care package.
- Ask Questions and Listen- Ask your student specific questions about their college experience. Listen carefully to what they tell you. Make sure you feel you are getting answers from them about how they are doing in class and how they are doing socially.
- Surprise Your Student- Surprise them with an unexpected gift, visit, or communication during a stressful time. This does make a difference.
- Use College Resources- If at any point you believe that the stress is getting the best of your student, contact Student Affairs and ask them to help.
Parents make a difference. The more aware and informed you are of your student’s college experience, the more effectively you can provide advice and support. College can be an educational experience for both students and parents. Asking questions and having an open dialogue with your son or daughter can be mutually beneficial. It can also lead to your student being more successful at William Jewell College.
"I wish my parents knew…"
We asked some of our students to complete the sentence above. Read their answers below for a glimpse into the minds of Jewell students.
- to consider the little things (like toothpaste and haircuts) when sending me money.
- that I can’t always answer my phone. And sometimes life really is so hectic that I honestly forget to call back.
- how powerful a little note or a package in the mail can be.
- that school schedules do not allow for an hour conversation with them on the phone every night.
- that we still LOVE allowances!!
- the Dining Hall food does not taste like hers. I miss home cooking!
- how much I wanted to be their “little girl.”
- how important open communication really is to me.
- how vital it was for them to show affection.
- that even though they embarrass me, I love it when they do.
- that no matter how much I try to detach myself from them, I fear most the day they will not be here.
- how important it is to receive a weekly “hello” letter in the mail.
- that I really do miss sleeping in my own bed at home and waking up to the smell of coffee.
- that I could use a phone call containing a “pep talk” every once in a while.
- how cool it is to be able to bring home 10 friends with only 5 minutes notice.
- that I really will be okay on my own.
- that sometimes I just need to hear them talk at me.
- that I haven’t forgotten about them just because I haven’t called in three days.
- that I think about them every day.
- that I never get any mail, and get really excited when they send me something.
- that I love it when they call just to say hi and see how I’m doing.
- I miss them more than I generally express.
- I would greatly appreciate a Target gift card!
- how much I love getting a note in the mail just to say hi.
- that even if I don’t call them every day, I love them a lot.
- that I listen to their advice and appreciate them raising me right.
- that I am discovering how I am more like them than I want to admit.
- sometimes I go to meals in my pajamas…sorry mom.
- that I really do study.
- that when you call I get excited to tell you everything.
- that I get to enjoy beautiful sunsets on top of the hill.
- that I like your home cooking…it is better than this Dining Hall food.
- that I appreciate you doing my laundry when I bring it home.
- how crazy much I love and miss them all the freaking time.
- that I love them so very much even if I seem more independent and don’t want to come home to visit as much.
- I love it when they are there anytime I call or need something.
- I appreciate it that they trusted me enough to respect my choices and let me be myself.
- no matter where I go, or what I choose to do with my life, they will always be an important part of it.
- they are worth coming home for.
- that I love when they call, especially when they say they will.
- I so enjoy (surprise) packages.
- even when they ask the hard life questions (that I try to avoid answering), I really do appreciate them.
- the fact that I don’t want to come home all the time means that I’m really enjoying life here…and that’s a good thing.
- that I will always need them.
- to call me more often.
- how thankful I am.
- that I will be okay without their supervision.
- that joining a sorority isn’t a bad thing.