Meet Jewel Goodly from Champaign, Illinois. She is a junior and will be serving as the Parent Orientation Leader for the E.J. Ourso College of Business this summer. She is majoring in Human Resource Education-Leadership Development with a minor in Business. Jewel is involved in LSU Ambassadors and the STRIPES Program. Her favorite spot on campus is the Quad. Her advice for parents is to trust not only students, but that your hard work has paid off!
It’s not you, it’s college.
About six years ago, my oldest sister left for college I was beyond excited for her in every aspect. I assumed that we would text 24/7, that I would get a call from her every day and we would remain in close contact. The communication with her was the opposite and it was hard for me to adjust to rarely hearing from my best friend. While the communication with her did improve, that year I made a personal vow to remain in close communication with my siblings and parents when it was my turn. The stigma I had of my sisters poor communication skills quickly changed as I began my transition to LSU. The more I became acquainted to campus and started to get involved, I learned exactly where my sister was coming from and understood more of why the communication had slowed. Although none of this is intentional as a new college student, your students are developing a new way of living. I learned that the lack of communication wasn’t intentional but that forgetting to check in with my family did occasionally happen. Between courses, professors, roommates, socializing, staying active, exams, loneliness, new friends, old friends, new home, Greek life, student life etc. college can be quite a bit to adjust to. Now about to enter my junior year at LSU, I am proud to say I am actively keeping the vow I made to stay in contact!
College is definitely a transition and a huge adjustment for not only the students but all the family members as well. So while your student is going through this transition, remember it’s not you, it college. Staying connected can be a good morning text or a flight home if you have an out of state student. Here’s a few tips for staying in communication and contact with your student while you are BOTH transitioning:
- Have a conversation with your student and other family members about how often they plan to call and what times fit best in both of your schedules.
- Care packages are everything! Nothing makes you feel more connected, loved or supported than receiving a care package or a sweet card to brighten your day! This is any easy way for your student to get a little piece of home right in their residence hall. Every time I got that email saying I had a package to pick up, it always felt like Christmas. Starting August 1, your student can register for a mailbox at the RICOH Mailing Center located in the LSU Student Union.
- Know that college makes your students appreciate you more than ever and even if we are reluctant to admit it, you really are the best. Receiving that good luck text right before a big exam or random Skype or FaceTime dates really does make our day.
- This one might mainly apply to dads, but remember that if your student calls, they might just want to talk. We don’t always need money, we didn’t get in a car accident, we aren’t failing anything, we just want to talk.
- Be a great listener because we might just want to vent and aren’t necessarily looking for an answer. Also try not to say “I told you so” or nag us about the little things when communicating with us.
- If you’re not friends with you student Facebook, request to be there friend. Have a conversation with your student about updating their Facebook with pictures so you can see all the fun stuff they are doing.
- If you can make a visit, do it!
- Lastly if you’re having a hard time communicating with your student, be patient and remember it’s not you, its college.