Here are some general tips and resources for working with your student. Coming to college is a series of transitions, not all of them will be easy. We have a dedicated staff to help your student through those transitions but also to learn valuable skills. Each student and circumstance will be different and these tips provide a basic overview of ways you can help. Our staff is willing to talk to you about these and other transitional issues, however, we are limited by Federal Law (FERPA) in the specifics that we can share about your student's circumstances.
We want to partner with you to help you empower your student to work through this transitions on their own.
Homesickness may come early in a student’s first year or even towards the end of their Junior year. Signs of homesickness (other than your student saying “I’m homesick”) include your student calling home often and asking to come home a lot. Instead of talking about what is happening in college they will be focused on how things are at home and reminiscing about high school, and they may show a lack of interest in getting involved on-campus. Seeing these signs does not necessarily mean that your student is suffering from homesickness but anytime you get a feeling that something is off it is always a good idea to ask questions and suggest they see their Resident Assistant (RA) and tell them what is going on.
If your student is homesick some suggestions on helping them are:
- Have them stay on campus for at least one month. If they don’t experience campus life they will not be able to feel like this is a home away from home and those early bonds are very important.
- Encourage them to get involved in activities that they are interested in. If they were involved in Student Government or played soccer in high school, doing the same here may help them adjust.
- Encourage new decorations of their room. There should be a balance between decorating their room with memories from High School and new decorations. Buying some posters and taking pictures with their floor and putting them up can help.
- Going to the counseling center (208 South Morse Hall). If homesickness reaches a higher level going to the counseling center is a good option. Going to the counseling center is a healthy way of dealing with stress and can be beneficial to everyone. Some people feel that there is a stigma associated with seeing a counselor, however, counselors are there to help people deal with stress and there is no shame in managing stress more effectively.
One of the new experiences that many college students encounter is sharing a room with another person. Living with a roommate can be both very rewarding and a bit challenging at times. A successful roommate relationship requires compromise, communication and clear expectations. At the beginning of any roommate relationship we will have all roommates discuss and complete a roommate agreement. This is meant to serve as a means to help roommates discuss common issues or scenarios that come up in roommate conflicts. The more open and honest your student can be in this initial discussion the more effective the roommate agreement will be. If your student is having a roommate conflict some suggestions on how you can help them are:
- Encourage your student to discuss smaller issues early on to avoid a roommate conflict in the first place. This is where communication comes into play. Without clear communication it is difficult to know if what we are doing is bothering someone else. If things are brought up in a friendly way early on, when they are still small issues they can usually be resolved much easier than waiting until they are much larger issues when emotions are typically running higher.
- Ask them if they have let their Resident Assistant know about the roommate conflict yet. Our Resident Assistant staff are trained to assist in roommate mediations. The purpose of mediation is to have an outside person guide the roommate through a conversation and help them talk about the issues, concerns and questions they have for each other. This can be very helpful and will only happen if they let their Resident Assistant know that they are having some concerns.
- Help them realize that roommate relationships do require compromise by discussing with them what their must-haves, would-likes and don’t-needs are within their roommate relationship. They must each feel comfortable within their living space and bring able to come up with ways they can compromise with their roommates will help build valuable skills for later in life.
- If this is a more serious roommate concern that involves safety concerns please have them contact their Complex Coordinator.
- Stephanie Stauffer and Jacob Mendez are the Complex Coordinators for the Towers Complex. Stephanie Stauffer oversees North Tower & Trusler. Jacob oversees South Tower & Singular. Stephanie can be reached at email@example.com or 620-341-6749. Jacob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 620-341-6747.
- Kayla Smith is the Complex Coordinator for the Morse Complex, which includes Northeast Morse, Abigail, Central Morse and South Morse. She can be reached at email@example.com or 620-341-6758.
If your student is struggling academically there are many campus resources that can assist them. The transition from high school to college can be difficult academically with different expectations, schedules, time management and assignments. It is typical for students to have reminders about assignments in high school but not in college classes where the Professor will handout the syllabus at the beginning of class and include all important dates and assignments on there. Luckily, along with the difference in expectations comes a difference in the level of support. Here are some things you can do to help your student if they are struggling academically.
- Ask if they have gone to their professor’s office hours. Professors hold office hours either in person or online via programs like Skype for students to be able to ask them questions about the class. Students who utilize these office hours have a better relationship with their professors and a better understanding of the material.
- If they are struggling with writing papers encourage them to go to the Writing Center in room 209C in the Library. They can help read through papers and identify common themes and ways to improve the students writing. With the importance of written communication this is a very valuable resource.
- Encourage them to seek out tutoring or study groups. Not only do study groups help grasp the material better and make studying more fun they are also a great way to be held accountable for studying. If you miss a study group session there is a friend to remind you about it. To find study groups, have your student ask the Resident Assistant about people with similar majors in their building, speak to the Professor or Teaching Assistant, or fellow classmates. For tutoring some departments offering tutoring and asking the Student Advising Center or their professor is a great way to find a tutor or group tutoring sessions.
- Encourage them to make an appointment with the Student Advising Center located in Plumb Hall. They will already have met with their Advisor from the Student Advising Center at Hornet Connection and again in the beginning of the academic year. This office serves as a catch all for academic concerns and their staff are very well equipped to help students discover concerns and solutions to those concerns.
- If your student had academic accommodations and they have not applied for those at Emporia State they should contact the Office of Disability Services in 106 Plumb Hall, by phone (620-341-6637) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).