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Advice for Parents and Families

Sending your student off to live on-campus can sometimes be a stressful transition for parents and families. We have collected some useful tips and resources for parents and families to help ease this transition. You can also reach out to the office for advice 508.531.1277.

What does my student need to be successful living on campus?

Student should be conscientious about eating healthy balanced meals and getting regular exercise. It is also important that they are aware of and are attending to their emotional needs. If your student needs to talk with someone, the Counseling Center can help.

Effective time management skills are important to your student's success. It is important that your student has a basic understanding of his or her parameters (i.e., class schedule, wake-up time, sleep time, time for socialization) and ability to set priorities, the Academic Achievement Center can help.
One of the most important things you can encourage your student to do when he or she arrives on campus is to make connections. Not only should students attempt to meet a variety of people to find out what the campus has to offer but they should also make an effort to meet and build relationships with at least one faculty and staff member on campus. Having this one connection can make all the difference for your student.

BSU can seem like a pretty big campus if you don't know your resources. There are many specialized offices that can be a great connection for first year students. These include Residence Life & HousingStudent Involvement & LeadershipLGCIE, and Student Affairs. These offices can also serve as a resource to your student if he or she has any questions or concerns.

It is important that your student meet all his or her degree requirements but college is also a time of exploration and a time to begin testing other disciplines. By choosing a combination of classes that allow students opportunities to interact with and make connections with faculty and other students, many students find a more fulfilling academic experience. It is also normal for student to be unsure about their major. Some students may even change their minds as they develop new interests or find out more about emerging careers and fields of study to which they were never exposed. The Academic Achievement Center can be a great resource for students in helping to find a major.
Campus life can be pretty busy. It is important that you encourage your student to look at the big picture now before he or she becomes overwhelmed with their academic course load. Advance planning is key, utilizing faculty office hours to discuss progress, giving a professor advance notice when they are going to be away for a weekend, or forming study groups is just a few ways to be proactive. If your student mentions that he or she is having trouble in a class at the beginning of the semester, encourage him or her to speak to the professor as soon as a problem is detected. Waiting until the last minute or until your student is in serious academic trouble is only going to be a recipe for disaster.
College may be the first time your student has ever had a personal checking account, credit card and control over a bank account or paychecks. It may also be the first experience your student has ever had in paying their own bills. It is important to discuss budgets, financial expectations and practices and good credit with your student now before they get in over their heads. Many credit card companies solicit college students without requiring permission from a parent or guardian.
The first few weeks on campus are an exciting time for students. They meet new people, test the boundaries of their new found freedom and begin a new and challenging academic experience. These first few weeks can be the biggest highlight or the biggest struggle of your student's college experience. Your student has a lot on his or her mind; living with a roommate, finding the right classroom or sharing bathroom facilities with others for the first time. Whatever the case, the journey through these first few weeks sets the course for your student's college career. Many of these experiences will test your student's ability to balance their academic and social lives. Our s​taff is available to answer questions and guide them through this transition period and help throughout the year.
New students face many challenges as they adjust to living on campus. For some, it may be the first time they have ever shared a room. Others may be struggling with the laid back approach college professors take and the realization that they really are responsible for managing their own time. Though it doesn't happen with every student, most parents should expect an occasional worrisome call home from their student. Your student may say "I want to come home", "I hate it here", or "I don't fit in." Or your student may be more specific and tell you "I was up all night studying for a test," or "My roommate's boyfriend is over all the time." For the most part, your student just needs to vent. Although you may be tempted to dive in and troubleshoot, we encourage you to listen to your student and allow him or her to work it out for themselves. Direct your student to the resources on our website which will help them, help themselves.

Parents are instrumental in providing support and assistance to their student. By listening to your student you can be a sounding board for them, providing support and perspective. You can help your student to understand their role in the process and empower them to affect their situation.

  • Assure your student that having a roommate conflict is not a rare occurrence. Living with someone requires on going communication. Most roommates are able to resolve their conflict in a way that meets everyone's needs.
  • Listen to your student as they explain the conflict; ask if it could be a misunderstanding instead of an intentional dispute.
  • Find out if your student signed a Roommate Agreement and whether or not they have reviewed it lately.
  • Ask whether they have sat down and had a heart to heart talk with their roommate(s) about the issue. Students often think they have communicated their feelings without having actually expressed them.
  • Don't be afraid to question whether your student may have had a role in creating the conflict. Let them know you are not criticizing only suggesting a little self-examination. Reminding them that conflict has two sides. Encourage them to consider why their roommate(s) might see the situation from a different point of view.
  • Ask if they have contacted their Resident Assistant, Resident Director, or the Office of Residence Life and Housing about the situation. If they have not please encourage them to do so.
  • If your student is looking for additional information regarding roommate communication please refer them to our community living student resources.

We hope these tips will help you to help your student initiate a solution to a roommate conflict should one arise. If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback please contact us.​