Queens invests much time and energy in helping your student make the complicated transition to college life and beyond. We also understand that you, as a parent, are making an important transition as well. As your student takes on adult responsibilities, your role will change, but your student still needs you. Students need you to support their growth, development, and independence, and to be a stable force in their ever-changing world.
"I have found that the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it." ~Harry Truman
Important Tips for Preparing for the Transition to College
- Get Prepared - Encourage your student to open and read everything that they receive via mail, e-mail, etc over the next few months! We will be sharing important information and updates via their new queens email address as well as in the mail. It's important for you to start to push them to be responsible for completing their checklists, paperwork, forms, etc during this important transition time. Just think of it as training for when school starts!
- Budgets - Devise a budget with your student that will help them manage their money for tuition and books, housing, food, transportation and miscellaneous expenses while they are in college. Have an easy way to deposit funds into their bank account. Make sure they know how to access this account on-line and remind them to keep very careful records of their charges. Remind your student that money does not grow on trees and there are limits!! Avoid credit cards if you can. Books and supplies are expensive! Depending on the class, you can expect books to be $200-300 per class. This is a great time to discuss whether your student will need to get a part-time job to help with expenses.
- Computers - It is best if your student has his or her own computer. Residential students should check with the Information Technology department for more information on the type of equipment needed.
- Insurance - It's important your student understands the ins and outs of their health and auto insurance. If you choose to opt out of the Queens Health insurance program, be sure that your student has an insurance card. Talk to your student about their auto insurance as well. It's a great time to reflect on what to do if there is an accident!
- What to bring - Check the list provided by Residence Life about what your student should bring to campus and what items are restricted in the residence halls.
- Talk to them - Instill integrity and independence in your student by talking to them about parties and drinking, drugs, etc. No one can monitor your student's every move, so empower them to say "no" to situations they are not comfortable with. Start by talking about all the "what ifs" of college life and use the opportunity to empower them to make good decisions!
Tips for Supporting Your Student During their College Years:
- Give them Responsibility - Allow your student to assume more responsibility, i.e., filing financial aid applications, seeking tutorial services, doing their own laundry or taking on a small job. Give advice, but don't make any calls for them to professors, roommates, etc unless they have totally exhausted every effort on their own behalf. It's OK to be a helicopter parent; do not be missile parents.
- Stay Connected - Everyone loves to get a package in the mail!! Make sure you know your student's mailing address. If you live some distance away, send mail or packages occasionally. Let your student know they have a package coming so they have something to look forward to and know to check their mailbox. Especially for emergencies, you may also want to take the time to get to know your student's roommate and get contact information for them.
- Know their Schedule - Knowing how many credits they have and what classes they are enrolled in will give you an idea of their stress level. The first semester is very stressful and may require a lighter load of coursework. Parents are an easy and safe target for stress outbursts - and there will be some, so understanding their stress will help you better support them.
- Keeping them Healthy - Everyone gets sick from time to time. Whether it's a simple cold, a stomach bug, or something more serious the Health & Wellness Center will be there to support your student. It will be scary to be sick and away from home the first time, so encourage them to go to the Health & Wellness Center so that we can help them get better fast!
- Be a good listener - Your student will want to test new ideas and new identities with you. While you may not always agree, it is important that you listen and support your student's growth. When your student calls you to ask "what do you think" don't just give them the answers; give them the tools. Empower your student to be responsible for their own successes!
- Homesickness - About six weeks into the semester your student will probably get homesick. They will start to realize that school is not summer camp and that college is hard. Listen, but don't automatically send a ticket to come home - most will get through this phase and be back to "normal" within a week or so. Schedule visits with them so that they will know when they will see you again. Family Weekend is conveniently scheduled 5 weeks into the semester, so it's a great time to reconnect!
- Stay Involved - There are various ways for you to connect with Queens even after your student is too busy to talk every day. Sign up for the Parent Newsletter. Attend Family Weekend. And never hesitate to let us know if you are concerned about your student. Queens is here to help your student succeed, so we hope that you will alert us to problems your student may be experiencing.