Parent Corner

How do I Connect with my College Student?

Ahead of time, it is best to establish expectations. Talk in advance about how often you’ll be in touch, and allow your student a great deal of input into this decision. Discuss the preferred mode of communication (e.g. phone, text, virtual platforms). Then, stick to these agreements as best you can, while letting your student know they can contact you whenever the like.

10 Questions to Ask Your College Student Instead of “How’s School?”:

  • Tell me what you are learning in class.
  • How are your courses set up? Have you had any trouble accessing the content for your classes?
  • Are your professors approachable? What are office hours like?
  • How are you handling the demands and expectations of your courses?
  • How is your sleep? Do you make it to your morning classes?
  • Who are you connecting with from your classes/dorm/clubs?
  • Have you joined any clubs or campus social activities?
  • What online software, websites, and apps are you using to help you study and stay organized?
  • What are some of your goals for this semester?
  • Where on campus do you like to study (e.g. library, café, dorm room)?
  • I know of a resource that can help you; can I share that with you?

Distress and Your Student

During the college years, students often test the limits of their newfound freedom and decision-making. As they experiment, it is not uncommon for students to display some amount of questionable or inappropriate behavior that may result in consequences. Much of this is part of the maturation process.

However, certain changes in behavior can indicate that a student is not doing well and may need intervention or help to prevent a situation that continues to get worse.

Know the Warning Signs of Distress

  • Not answering emails
  • Not attending classes
  • Lack of interest in academic classes or social life
  • Overly nervous, tense, tearful
  • Expression of feelings of hopelessness
  • Expression of feelings of guilt/self-doubt/self-judgment
  • Lower-than-normal frustration tolerance
  • Overreacting to circumstances
  • Infrequent eating/showering
  • Oversleeping
  • Not sleeping enough
  • Not being able to fall asleep
  • Unable to stick to a routine




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