Nine Ways to Help Your College Student Get A Fresh Start for Second Semester


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Parents can help their college students prepare for the reality of the second semester by helping them think about it and plan a few goals before they return to school. Here are a few suggestions for your student.

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Nine Ways to Help Your College Student Get A Fresh Start for Second Semester

  1. 1. College Navigation – A FreshStart for Second SemesterNine Ways to Help Your College Student Get a Fresh Start forSecond Semester Parents Don’t go to College without us….
  2. 2. Nine Ways to Help Your College Student Get a Fresh Start for Second Semester ParentsReturning to college for your second semester is a verydifferent experience from heading off to college for the firsttime.Students heading back to school for their second semesterbring their wisdom and their mistakes, their collegeknowledge and their new life experiences with them.Although neither the anticipation nor the worry may be ashigh as first semester, students recognize that the start of thesecond semester of college is another new beginning forthem.Parents can help their college students prepare for the realityof the second semester by helping them think about it andplan a few goals before they return to school. Here are afew suggestions for your student.
  3. 3. Recognize this as a new beginning Flickr: mvenable2002Remind your student that the new semester marks a fresh start for him. He willhave new classes, new professors, be in classes with new students. If his firstsemester was a success, he can be satisfied that he has found somesuccessful strategies. He’ll want to continue to stay focused. If his firstsemester was not as successful as he had hoped, he now has a chance tomake some changes with a clean slate.
  4. 4. Take advantage of confidence gained Flickr: glsims99Everything was new at the beginning of first semester. Your student may havefelt overwhelmed. Now, your student has some confidence in her ability tomake friends, to navigate this new college community, to get to class, to talkto professors, to do what she needs to do to succeed. Remind her that shecan capitalize on this confidence as she returns to school knowing her wayaround.
  5. 5. Learn from fall semester Flickr: mollyjollyYour student learned a lot during fall semester – both about college life and abouthimself. Remind him to review the lessons that he learned and to use that informationfor a successful second semester. Did his approach to studying work? Does he needto ask for more help this semester? Should he think more carefully about socialchoices? Was he too involved on campus or not involved enough? Some reflectionwill help him approach this semester with helpful lessons learned.
  6. 6. Be prepared for mixed feelingsIt is OK, and even likely, that your student will havesome mixed feelings about returning for secondsemester. There is less build-up and excitementthan there was in the fall, so it may seem, in someways, a bit of a let-down. This is a more thoughtfulreturn to college.Being at home again has had its own stresses, sothere may be some relief in returning to being onhis own once again.Your student knows more about the realities of thework expected, so the road ahead may looklonger and harder than it did in the fall. Somefriends from fall semester may not return for asecond semester and your student will miss them.Recognizing that there may be a certain degree of“second semester blues” and knowing that it is anormal feeling may help your student. Flickr: mollyjolly
  7. 7. This is a good time to get involved on campus Flickr: EAWBYour student may have been cautious about getting involved in too manyactivities during her first semester. Many students are concerned about havingenough time for studying – or they are spending a great deal of time working atjobs. Second semester is a good time to try to get more involved oncampus. Your student has a more realistic sense of his time, knows whatactivities or groups are available, may feel less overwhelmed, and has madesome connections.
  8. 8. Take advantage of the more realistic picture of college lifeWith a semester of experience, your student now has a more realistic picture ofwhat may be expected of him in college and what college life involves. He cantake advantage of this new knowledge for time management and budgetmanagement. Encourage him to build study time into his schedule rather thanhoping that he will find time. Encourage him to create a budget to plan his dailyexpenses. He is in a good position now to feel more in control of his collegeexperiences.
  9. 9. Think carefully about transfer options For many students, the second semester of college is when they consider transferring to a different school. The newness has worn off and they may feel unhappy about their experiences. For some students, a transfer to a different school may be appropriate. For many others, however, careful consideration will reveal that transferring to a new school may not be the answer. Flickr: koalazymonkeyProblems may go with your student to a different school. If he is consideringtransferring, he should think very carefully about why he wants to change. Will itmake a difference, or should he take advantage of what he already knows abouthis current school to change his path or direction where he is? Recognizing thatmany students think about transferring at this point may help put his feelings inperspective. Very careful consideration of the decision is important. Encouragehim to think carefully, talk to his academic advisor, and give himself anothersemester before making definite plans.
  10. 10. Think about, and talk about, goals for the semester Flickr: angietorresNew Year’s resolutions may be overrated, although many people find it helpful tothink about the year ahead. Whether or not they are as formal as resolutions, yourstudent should think about his plans and goals for the next four months. What doeshe hope to change? What does he hope to achieve? What will be required ofhim to accomplish these goals? Putting some of his goals into words – and possiblyputting them on paper – will make them more real, and will serve as a reminder asthe semester progresses. Thinking about what will be required to reach those goalswill give your student a plan of action.
  11. 11. Talk with family members about expectations Flickr: MountainbreadThe beginning of the second semester is a good time for parents and studentsto review together expectations for college. Everyone has more experiencenow. What has worked, and what thinking might need to be revised? Arefinancial expectations working? Are academic expectations being met? Iseveryone satisfied with social choices? This is a good time to communicate ashonestly as possible about the successes and shortcomings of the firstsemester. Make sure that you and your student begin this new semester withsome shared expectations. Article brought to you by Vicki Nelson. Read the complete article here.
  12. 12. You have questions, we have answers! College Parents of America and get more tips and advice on: What is my role as a college parent; How should I communicate with my college student; How to avoid becoming a helicopter parent; and Much More…For more information, please contact us the following ways: 888-761-6702