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students first year

students first year

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  • Purpose of workshop is to introduce to you some transition issues and challenges that may affect 1 st year students and give you some suggestions to help you and your student with the transition We find that college students are constantly changing and there is always new research and resources around first year issues – and the goal of the presentation is to provide you with some of those resources
  • Becoming Independent For many students, becoming independent means they are able to make their own decisions without having to rely on their parents so much - having to make their own decisions can also come as a shock Students will begin to view parents as a resource In helping them manage their own affairs, try not to problem solve, but provide suggestions and resources (i.e. have them do their own paperwork and make their own appointments, complete their own university forms, read their own university material) Begin early, so that the student will be better prepared before school starts Developing a Sense of Belonging Finding a group of friends or a social network is important to transition Comfort zone may be challenged w/ exposure to new cultures and lifestyles May be sharing a room or in class with those of a different religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. – students views/beliefs may be challenged Encourage your student to be open minded and be open to new ideas. Challenging in the beginning – parents may receive frantic phone calls, but don’t worry Although it may be hard, and students may BEG to come home, please encourage them so stay on campus and meet people, especially the first quarter b/c it will help in their transition How to Help Encourage students to ask their own questions and take responsibility for managing their own affairs Develop a communication plan to share important information with your student Talk with your student about how to handle illness and other emergencies (insurance, co-pays, etc.) Encourage your student to be independent, but be willing to reach out for help in an urgent situation Remind students that friendships take time, energy and effort: be proactive Listen, support, and encourage your student to set realistic expectations Recognize how peer support and becoming integrated into campus life is critical to academic success
  • Developing a Sense of Belonging Negotiating Campus Diversity: Making sense of, and being exposed to UCR’s diverse ethnic/cultural backgrounds, viewpoints, lifestyles, religious beliefs and practices, values Important for students to get involved on campus so that they make connections with other students, and start to develop friendships and support networks - more investment in their own education if connected to the campus Parent survey questions 27-31 Understand that your student may not be able to come home as much as you would like them, and they may not be able to play the role that they did while living at home (i.e. being a translator, helping with a family visit) - Even studying at home can be a challenge (few resources) Parent survey questions 40-41 Negotiating Campus Diversity 77% students of color at UCR Gender Diversity 56% females at UCR, 44% males 1/3 of UCR students are the first in their family to attend college Parent survey questions 17-20 More Ways to Help Share with your student the community involvement Help your student recognize that frequent trips home can hinder their focus on academics and getting connected to the campus Understand that students may not be able to play as active a role with family affairs and events as they may have previously Acknowledge how college life allows for the student to explore and find what they want to do, and who they want to be Encourage exploration through campus involvement
  • Identity Exploration Freshman enter college with an identity that is already defined for them by their family values, church, etc. Students begin to explore who they are through exposure to others – and at times their belief system might be challenged through their exposure to others They aren’t “acting out”, just exploring who they are Encourage students to look at all options when making decisions – utilize family, campus, and community resources – assist your student in exploring these options Encourage students to communicate their boundaries w/others Students may experiment with sex, drugs, and alcohol Parent survey questions 23 – 26 Letting Go – pg 169 – student quote: “The only thing I wish is that my parents had prepared me better for what I might face in college. There was never a real discussion about sex, drugs, or even money management. They just trusted that I would be me and do my best. Trusting that your child will do what they know is “right” is important, but also…it’s college. College is the chance to taste every temptation you could imagine. I’m not sure how you can prepare a person for this other than talking about it. Just talk” Student quote: “Just because I have more freedom doesn’t mean I will forget everything you taught me and lose my morals” Identity Exploration: Students may experiment with new looks, foods, habits, friends, personas, etc. Students will explore new relationships with family, friends, faculty/staff Students may experiment with sexual activity, alcohol and other drugs HOW TO HELP Remember most students don’t stray far from their family values Not every student will start or increase these activities Be clear about your expectations, but give your student the freedom to make their own decisions Discuss that self exploration is a part of determining who you want to be when you “grow up” and encourage your student to use good judgment Provide an environment that fosters and supports honesty, trust and open communication Encourage your student to seek out resources that can assist them in making good decisions Encourage your student to make choices that are best for themselves and not others
  • Assist students in setting a realistic budget, but don’t forget miscellaneous expenses like laundry money, toiletries, gas, etc. Some students have no idea how much things cost (i.e. the first phone bill) – and they don’t have a clear idea of how long money will last (i.e. you think it may last for the whole quarter but by the end of the first month, it’s gone) Teach them how to pay bills monthly, balance checkbook If working on campus, set realistic expectations about the number of working hours and expectation of grades Discuss how parents will pay for the expenses they are paying for –sending money in small doses or in one lump some Have a checking account at a bank that you can access for deposits Letting go – pg 162 - student quote: “My parents used to send me money as I needed it my freshman year, but I really hated it. I always felt guilty when I asked for more, or like I had to justify where I had spent the money. Now I get one lump sum at the beginning of the semester and that’s it. I like it a lot better. I know what I have, and I can budget accordingly.” Letting go – pg 162 - student quote: “My parents told me they would supplement my financial aid package and would take care of the remaining tuition and board. All the other expenses are up to me. I thought I had earned enough last summer, but I ran out by March. Luckily I picked up a part-time job to keep me solvent.” Credit Cards Parent survey question 45 55% of college students get their first credit card during freshman year (most cards do not require a co-signer) Explain the risks of credit cards (transaction fees, cash advance fees, balance transfers, free offers, etc.) Define “emergency” – is an emergency late night pizza b/c the Cafeteria is closed, or when their car runs out of gas? Think about adding money to the UCR Card – there will be a presentation in the afternoon from the UCR Card Office
  • 75% of UCR students receive Financial Aid (65% of which is need-based) When and how is Financial Aid distributed and paid out Students are responsible for making sure their bills get paid on time Missed payments will drop students from classes Some financial aid have requirements such as minimum units or GPA Look into scholarship options HOW TO HELP Review the financial aid process and how money will be deposited Discuss possible requirements for different types of financial aid Bills from the University will be sent directly to your student; develop a plan to share information as appropriate Research and apply for scholarships that reflect special talents or interests
  • Cost Saving Strategies If no car, search for bargain airfares (airfare wars, advance purchases, package deals, metrolink, amtrak, van pool) Ride share on trips home (ride with friends, roommates, hall mates) Calling cards (no surcharges, no codes to memorize, easily available for purchase) and cell phones are cheaper than collect Try e-mail, its free Getting sick is costly (preventative medicine) – encourage your student not to skip meals - eat healthy, exercise Don’t need the latest clothes or electronics (i.e. back to school clothes are a thing of the past – the wardrobe is new to everyone else!) Too much time traveling to and from home may affect studies -> take longer to finish school -> more in tuition and student loans (nat’l grad rate is 5 years, UC is 4 yrs. 2 quarter, UCR 4 yrs. 1 quarter) HOW TO HELP
  • Higher Expectations UC serves top 12.5% of students, now competing with all of the bright kids More challenging material, expectation of critical thinking (most challenging for most students) - students being able to formulate their thoughts Students “don’t get” what the professor/TA is asking for on term papers and midterms Different skills are needed in college, and sometimes it takes a while for students to learn how to navigate the University Average entering GPA 3.405, but drops 1.0 lower than HS (experience of 1 st “C” can cause doubt and guilt) Students expected to take responsibility for their own education (attending class, syllabus planning, knowing when their assignments are due, students must seek out help/resources on their own when needed) HS teachers guide/mentor, also only 1 text book vs. College-class text is only primary sources (expectation by faculty that students will do outside research and reading and there may be multiple books in the class) Ask your student about what they are learning Student quote: “…I like to share what I’ve been learning with you to show off. Please act impressed. It makes me feel good” Course difficulty sometimes leads to cheating. The student will get to hear a presentation on academic integrity form Student Judicial Affairs – and they are also doing two of the workshops this afternoon Change in Environment Parent survey questions 13-15 10 week quarter + finals week, fast – need to balance Full time status is 12 units, but we encourage students to take 15 units – requires 40 hours/week of work (about 3 hours of extra studying per each lecture hour) HS- teaching environment vs. College-learning environment HS-effort counts vs. College-performance determines grades (I.e. few extra credit, quizzes, HW review) – in college, faculty want students to be able to think on their own, not just regurgitate info Commitment requires an investment of at least 40 hours per week of class attendance, reading, homework, preparation, study groups, meetings with faculty, etc. Important to manage time & take control of academics (use planner, do things for self) Study habits – most students don’t realize the amount of time they need to spend studying, college is not like high school, students need to put a lot of time and effort into their studies Student quote: “C’s and B’s are not bad grades. My parents would tell me “why are you getting a B in biology, that class is easy”. I would get upset and tell them “If you think it’s so easy, you take Biology, and Chemistry, and Calculus and Physics, and tell me how easy it is to get an A” Student quote: “I wish my family had known how hard it is to get a “A” in a class when compared to getting an “A” in high school”
  • Choosing a Major parent survey questions 8-12 Students should refrain from choosing a major that will lead to limited career options, or choosing a major based on career choice Don’t assume that because a student does well in HS classes, that all subjects will be equally easy in college At this advanced level, only strong interest in the subject, will drive aptitude and grades Strong interest in a subject will make studying easier and promotes higher grades Remember, a student may change their major multiple times over the course of their academic career Take advantage of internships for some pre-professional experience (UCDC, EAP) Hiring a UC grad = critical thinking, communication, writing skills Knowing Limitations: Students should learn what their limitations are – learn how long it takes to study for an exam, or how much sleep they need Can they stay up late and eat 3 pizza meals a day? Allow students to make their own mistakes and learn from them ISSUE Anxiety about Choosing a Major: Parental expectations Conflicted feelings of majoring in what they like and we are good at, versus what others want Perceptions of where majors lead. Difficulty and lack of comprehension.
  • Changing Relationships Parent survey question 46 Parents will be viewed as a resource, rather than problem solver Students will seek more advice, rather than solutions Some students want to be treated as adults, but at the same time, they want you to take care of them If they don’t, encourage their independence (teach them how to be adults) Letting Go – pg 153 – parent quote: “She seemed very mature in a lot of ways and incredibly poorly prepared in others, and every time I wanted to talk about it, she didn’t want to talk about what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about bank accounts and she kept spending all her money, and I wanted to talk about what kind of winter clothes she would need, and she’d say, but Mom, it’s ninety degrees outside…so we were out of sync for a while. I was trying to get her ready to go, because I needed to know she was ready, and she was doing something completely different on her own time” HOW TO HELP Support change and be willing to change too Recognize you may not be greeted with the same personality each time your student returns home: welcome and embrace your student’s evolving development Recognize your student’s evolution into adulthood
  • Communication Parent survey question 42 & 47 It can be challenging for students to find the balance of calling home and receiving calls – students want a taste of home, but also want to remain independent Students may not always be available when you call, and depending on your student, they may not return you call until days later Using e-mail or AIM might work quite well Letting go – pg 175 - Mom quote” I could usually reach her or leave a message on her cell phone, but even though I didn’t call that often, when I did, she would say “Mom-can’t talk right now, I’ll call you back.” And then, like most college kids, she’d call back four days later” Have conversations with your student about the best time to reach them – EARLY is not a good time to call Letting go – pg 175 - student quote: “ My mother doesn’t seem to get the message. She calls me at eight in the morning and says, “I called because I knew I’d get you in”, Of course I’m in, I’m asleep!” Share your expectations about communication Send little notes about what is going on in the neighborhood and at home – allow students to feel connected – students want to feel like they are away from home, but feel a sense of comfort by knowing what is going on at home Family Visits Again, it may not be a good expectation to think that your student is going to come home every weekend – most students are trying to get acclimated to the campus – Visits home can be a little weird or challenging for students and parents – the student is used to coming and going when they please or doing things according to when it is convenient for them Letting go – pg 314 - Mother quote: You have to have a sense of humor when you awaken to the beep of the microwave and the hum of the dryer at 2am. And realize that it’s your son fixing a snack and doing laundry at a time that’s normal for him” Also –if you are going to come to campus – let your student know – surprise visits are not a good thing What should you expect between now and leaving for school? Students and family member generally have an expectation of what the summer/before college time may be like, and they sometimes aren’t the same, or aren’t in sync. Communication is key – and that will assist you in the first year and in the transition. Once they leave the nest, this may be what you have to look forward to on move in day Letting go – pg 186 - Father quote: “As well as can be expected, considering I drove 500 miles yesterday and now my son is telling me I can sit in his suite, but should stay out of his room – that it’s OK if I talk to other parents, but not to students. He literally jogs ahead of me. He’s keeping his distance. And he and his “friends” – he met them this morning – are going out for pizza tonight”


  • 1. Your Student’s First Year at UC Riverside 2011 Highlander Orientation Presented by the Student Wellness Partners:Stacey Grady, Mental Health Educator, AVC/Dean of Students (951) 827-6727 Jennifer Miller, Director of the WELL, (951) 827-5000 Sarah Pemberton, Student Affairs Case Manager, (951) 827-9354 Marcela Ramirez, Diversity Initiatives Coordinator, (951) 827-7233Devon Sakamoto, Coordinator of Health Education Initiatives, (951) 827 2874 Deepak Sharma, Coordinator, Peer Programs , WELL, (951) 827-5501 Oronne Wami, Peer Education/Community Service Assistant, (951) 827-5481
  • 2. Student Wellness PartnersIn partnership with the Counseling Center, The Well, International Education Center, Housing Services, Student Recreation Center, Campus Health Center and AVC/Dean of Students Office, the Student Wellness Partners offer students robust and collaborative campus-wide programming and resources associated with student health and well-being. Specifically, the Student Wellness Partners work to strengthen and expand wellness related peer mentor & education programs and develop new programs and initiatives to address the wellness needs of UC Riverside’s diverse student population.
  • 3. Hopes and FearsWhat are some of your hopes and fears regarding your student’s first year of college at UC Riverside?
  • 4. Fall TransitionFirst 6-8 Weeks – Summer camp/easy street (Weeks 1-2) – Expectations meet reality (Weeks 3-5) – Homesickness/“fit” issues (Weeks 6-8)
  • 5. Challenging MomentsCommon Experiences – Lackluster performance in classroom – Roommate issues – Time management issues – Missed deadlinesStudent/Parent Emotions – Student: panicked, crying, anxious/nervous – Parent: guilt, worry, panic, anxiety
  • 6. Support During Challenging MomentsChange/transition can be quite difficultBe alert for significant changes in mood, personality, behaviors.Intuition/ “gut” check You know your student best Reach out to appropriate university personnel
  • 7. Managing Social DemandsISSUE HOW TO HELPBecoming Independent:  Encourage students to manage their own  Self reliance affairs  Students have to make their  Develop a communication plan own decisions and function independently  Encourage your student to be independent, but be willing to reach out for help in an urgent situationDeveloping a Sense of Belonging:  Proactive Friendships  Everything is new & different  Encourage your student to set realistic  Students focus on finding expectations friends and “fitting in”  Become Integrated into Campus Life  Feelings of being a “little fish”
  • 8. Managing Social DemandsMORE WAYS TO HELP Share with your student the community involvement Understand that students may not be able to play as active a role with family affairs and events as they may have previously Acknowledge how college life allows for the student to find what they want to do Encourage exploration through campus involvement
  • 9. Managing Social DemandsISSUE HOW TO HELPIdentity Exploration:  Remember most students don’t stray far  Students may experiment from their family values with new looks, foods, habits,  Not every student will start or increase friends, personas, etc. these activities  Students will explore new relationships with family,  Be clear about your expectations friends, faculty/staff  Discuss that self exploration  Students may experiment  Provide an environment that fosters and with sexual activity, alcohol and other drugs supports honesty, trust and open communication  Encourage your student to seek out resources Encourage your student to make the BEST choices
  • 10. Managing FinancesISSUE HOW TO HELPSetting a Budget & Sticking to It:  Having enough money for  Help your student in developing a financial expenses plan or a budget  Defining needs vs. wants  Anticipate everything (tuition, housing, books, food, toiletries, entertainment, gas, etc.)  Clearly define what the family is paying for  Teach the importance of financial responsibility  Encourage your student to consider work on campusCredit Cards:  Discuss importance of building  Inappropriate or over usage credit, and the dangers of accumulating debt www.youngmoney.com is an excellent resource for explaining budget and finances to young students.
  • 11. Managing FinancesISSUE HOW TO HELPUnderstanding Educational Financing:  Nuances of financial aid  Review the financial aid  Negotiating University billing process and how money will be deposited  Bills from the University will be sent directly to your student  Research and apply for P
  • 12. Managing FinancesISSUE HOW TO HELPLack of Knowledge of Cost  Clip and send grocery coupons Saving Strategies:  Buy in bulk  Students are not used to having  Buy only the supplies and books to pay for everything themselves required  Consider opting out of having a car at school  Send care packages with healthcare supplies and healthy foods  Break the habit of “Latest is Best”  Teach your student fiscal responsibility
  • 13. Managing Academic Demands ISSUE HOW TO HELP Higher Expectations:  Help student (and family) to set realistic  Applying critical thinking. academic expectations  Learning takes place  Encourage your student to seek out help outside the classroom.  Ask your student what they think about what  Increased volume of work they learned, and not just what they learned. vs. decreased time  Encourage students to use a daily  Student body ranges from planner . 1st - 4th year in any class.  Discuss time management skillsChange in the Environment: and share strategies.  Studying at home vs. the library.  Each hour of lecture equals 2 hours of reading/study.  Safe Assignment software  Assigned Reading
  • 14. Managing Academic DemandsISSUE HOW TO HELPAnxiety about Choosing a Major:  Learn about the major and the classes  Parental expectations offered in the upper division areas.  Conflicted feelings of  Decision about a major may unfold over majoring in what they like time. and we are good at, versus  Students’ interpretation of a major vs. what others want family’s.  Perceptions of where majors lead.  Encourage your student to choose a  Difficulty and lack of major based on intrinsic interest in comprehension. subject matter.  Appreciate that a major and career are only loosely related.  Understand that a graduate degree can be independent of an undergraduate experience.
  • 15. Managing Family RelationshipsISSUE HOW TO HELPChanging Relationships:  Support change and be willing to change too  Family relationships WILL  Welcome and embrace your student’s evolving change and usually for the development better  Recognize your student’s evolution into adulthood
  • 16. Managing Family RelationshipsISSUE HOW TO HELPCommunication:  Understand your student may not always be  Students are busy and don’t always available when you call have time to talk with family  Be respectful of your student’s schedule members  Creative Communication  Students may not express how  Be flexible!! important it is to hear from family  Let your student know if you plan to visit them at school
  • 17. Creating a Solid Foundation Student Health101:Student edition: http://readsh101.com/ucr.html?id=270823Family edition: http://readsh101.com/ucr-pp.html?id=261393 Well website (online tools and brochures): http://well.ucr.edu Game plan: Communication Money Shared campus tour (virtual or real) Class schedule Involvement opportunities Self care Nervous is normal
  • 18. •Online HealthAssessments•On and OffCampus Referrals•Interactive SelfCare Tools•ElectronicResource Libraries•Google Calendarof UCR Health andWellness Events•”Ask a Peer” Tool•CommunityService ProjectSearch/Reporting•Request aProgram Tool
  • 19. The WELL at UCR Well-being, Empowerment, Life, Learning Highlander Union Building 248 (951) 827 WELL www.well.ucr.eduUCR offers a variety of wellness-related programs that are designed to support holistic student health and well-being. The WELL is a coordinated center for UCR’s wellness programs. The WELL serves to create a safe, supportive, and connected campus environment through the promotion of healthy minds, bodies and communities. The WELL provides accessible, robust resources and support for students in the areas of physical, social, emotional, cultural and spiritual wellness through a network of peer educators, mentors and professionals.
  • 20. THANK YOU! The Student Wellness Partners Team:Stacey Grady, Mental Health Educator, AVC/Dean of Students (951) 827-6727 Jennifer Miller, Director of the WELL, (951) 827-5000 Sarah Pemberton, Student Affairs Case Manager, (951) 827-9354 Marcela Ramirez, Diversity Initiatives Coordinator, (951) 827-7233Devon Sakamoto, Coordinator of Health Education Initiatives, (951) 827 2874 Deepak Sharma, Coordinator, Peer Programs , WELL, (951) 827-5501 Oronne Wami, Peer Education/Community Service Assistant, (951) 827-5481 Questions?