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 19, 2017
This can be a very disconcerting experience for 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.
Labor Day – September 4, 2017
No classes. Students have been on-campus a little over a week. Please encourage your student to stay on-campus over the extended holiday.
Three to Four Weeks Into the Semester – September 13 – September 20
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.
Fall Break – October 12 – 15
No classes. Students get a much-needed break.
Midterm Examinations and Papers – October 4 – 11
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.
Advising Days – October 31 & November 8
Students meet with advisors. No classes on those days.
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 22 – November 26
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 12- 15
Papers and final assignments are due. Final exams occur and require students to study intensely to prepare.
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 Life 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.