Yesterday was the last day that students could add or drop courses for the fall semester. From my perspective, I always feel that we are now entering a “settling in” stage: student schedules are pretty much established; they’ve attended each class at least once by now, and have met their instructors, classmates, roommates, etc…; final details about work schedules or club involvement are being put into place.
Now that the initial anxiety of transitioning to college (for new students) or transitioning back after the summer break (for returners) has ended for most students, there is still important work to be done. I think of this as a “settling in” period because it is at this time that we all begin to settle in to a regular routine. This can be a critical time for students because behaviors they engage in now may become regular habits for the semester. Do they use the time between classes to study, to work a couple of hours at a job, or to go back to their rooms and take a nap? Do they come up with a plan for approaching class assignments or decide to worry about them when the time comes? Are they checking out the club they’ve been talking about joining or are they still in “thinking about it” mode? Are they being conscious about food choices and exercise habits or enjoying the “all you can eat” offerings, including daily ice cream?
There are so many possible ways to settle into a semester and the best approach is unique to each student. As a parent, this can be a good time to check in with your son or daughter about how things are going and to try and get a sense of how your student is “settling in” and how those soon-to-become habits are developing. Some resources that you might find helpful at this time include: Academic Support in CASA (tutoring, accommodation requests), the Counseling Center in Foster Hall, and the Office of Student Involvement in the McCarthy Center (clubs, service opportunities). Let us know how those conversations go!