The first few weeks are critical to making a successful transition to college life. Parents can take an active role in helping their students make the transition. Asking the right questions is the key. Make sure your student is staying on task:
It's also important that during this time students make an effort to become engaged in campus life. The Residential Life staff takes notice of how our residents are adjusting and encourage them to:
Participants in the FYRE program have a ready made set of friends and activities, but there are many other opportunities like the Beaver organization fair to get involved in campus life. We encourage you to ask your student about the activities they are participating in. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Most students will experience some level of home sickness. Regular communication about what is happening at home can make all the difference. It's important to read the signs your student is giving you. Males and females are often very different in how they will communicate about how they are feeling. Your daughter may call and be very open about feeling lonely, whereas your son may call home and ask about the dog. They are both saying the same thing, they miss home. You can help by keeping the lines of communication open with:
Regular phone calls to and from your student will keep you both feeling close. Students are responsible for supplying their own cell phone. Cell phone providers in this area include Verizon (formerly Unicell) and AT&T (formerly Cellular One).
Email and IMs are a quick and convenient way for regular communication with your student. Every student is issued at BSU student email address which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our experience is that residents love getting mail from home. When the mail is even a few minutes late around here, we start getting phone calls. When our residents pick up their mail they dive through it looking for personal mail. Short notes, cards, Mom's oatmeal cookies in care packages from home help your child stay feeling connected, and not so far away. Click here for information on addressing packages to your residential student.
Let your child know news and events going on at home, even if it's hard or upsetting information. It's better they find out right away rather than finding out later and feeling left out of an important family happening.
If your home town has a local paper, or other source of local news and happenings, consider subscribing on behalf of your child. It's important for students to keep up on local sources of news and information about friends and their home town.
Parent visits are always welcome, but it's usually not a good idea to come unannounced. Pick a weekend, like family weekend, or color weekend during the fall. Think about getting a hotel room, a place where you and your child can have time to visit. A great idea is to stay at a hotel that has a pool, order a bunch of pizza and ask your student to invite friends. It's a great way to get to know some of your child's new friends.
There are several scheduled breaks that are great opportunities for students to come home and connect with home, family and friends.
If you are concerned about your student, the staff of Residential Life is here to help you. Feel free to contact Dale Ladig, Director of Residential Life, directly. If we don't know there is a problem, we can't help, but if we are made aware of a problem, we can act!