Supporting your Plymouth State Student

Being a first year student

The first year of life at Plymouth State University is challenging in any number of ways: an assortment of buildings with miles of corridors to navigate; a brand new social life in new settings; friendships to test and forge; learning the responsibility and self-discipline that their new-found freedoms entail. These are just a few of the new experiences your student will face as a freshman.

Some freshmen take these new experiences in stride while others struggle. Given all of this, it is common for students to feel uncertain about their own abilities and express frustration over grades, social life, and extracurricular activities. Students are learning that a university is different from high school; and superb grades that may have come relatively easy in high school may prove to be difficult to obtain as a college student.

How you can help

Be supportive and encouraging. There may be a number of times during the next four years that your student, for any number of reasons, personal or scholastic, will lose faith in him or herself. That’s when you can be there reminding them of your faith and confidence in them until they can get their
self-confidence back.

Stay connected to your student. Send notes, e-mails, and clippings from local papers, or even prepare a “care package” for them – and of course with enough to share with their new friends! Do all you can to assure them that they are still connected to home.Talk with your student before he/she heads off to college to see how much communication with you that they might want. For example, do you talk each Sunday night or do you talk/email every other day. Allow your student to make friends. There is at least a four week adjustment period.

Encourage your student to explore a variety of majors and career directions. The freshman curriculum is somewhat structured; however, they will
have opportunities to explore new fields. This is a time to see whether his/her intended major is right for him/her.

Encourage your student to become involved. PSU has many different student organizations to become involved in as well as getting involved in Community Service.

Encourage your student to handle their own situations. Your student is now on their own and most likely has relied on you as a parent for the last 18 years. Let your student take care of situations themselves. If they have trouble with their roommates, encourage them to talk to the roommate or with heir Community Advisor. If your student is having a hard time adjusting academically, encourage him/her to talk with their professor directly to get help. You need to support your student as they begin the adventure of learning how to be an independent adult.

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