As we near the beginning of another semester, you may wish to take the time to further explore the expectations and assumptions that you and your student have made about the roles they will play and the choices they will make as a part of the campus community. This list of issues will be helpful as you and your student begin visiting about the transition to college in the coming months.
Your student probably has a very clear understanding of your current expectations regarding academics. Are these expectations likely to change? What are your student's expectations of him or herself? How different are your expectations? How will you and your student react if his/her initial grades are lower than anticipated?
Your participation in the Orientation program demonstrates your support of your student as he or she begins a new venture. How will you continue to show this support? How would your student choose to be supported? Care packages, letters, and cards are tangible ways to show support and keep in contact with your student.
How will college expenses be handled? What kind of budget should your student establish? Does he or she have realistic expectations about the expense of buying books and paying bills or rent?
Your student may have to share a room for the first time. How will you assist your student in his or her adjustment to having a roommate whose needs and expectations may be very different from his or her own? What are the issues that should be clarified in advance? How will your student assert his or her own needs, while responding to those of the roommate?
Membership in a university community involves more freedom, more choices, and less structure than many students are accustomed to having. What responsibilities does your student have to him or herself (behaviorally, academically, and socially)? What are the responsibilities that exist for all members of a community?
Returning home for a long or short-term visit can be a challenging experience for a student, as well as for family. How will you prepare for the re-entry of your student into family life? How can you adapt to the changes in one another? What roles and expectations will you re-negotiate before visits?
Do you have expectations about how your student will choose to be involved in the campus community and in co-curricular activities? Does he or she? How do these expectations differ? How can your student make choices to create a balanced life on campus?
What consequences may result from the social choices (friends, romantic relationships, alcohol use etc.) that he or she makes?