Freshman Experience and Family Involvement…the First Two Months*
Your student is likely to meet some challenges during his or her transition to the University of Mississippi. Here’s what you might expect and ways you can help:
During the first few weeks, students work to establish a routine. This may be the first time they have to identify problems and find solutions on their own. Every accomplishment will feel like a victory. You can help by talking to your student at least once a week, but you don’t want to over communicate. Enjoy the excitement with him or her, but also acknowledge the disappointments.
Your student may enjoy the new freedoms of not living at home. Sometimes students don’t attend class when they hear there is no attendance policy. Some students may spend hours on social media in between classes instead of studying. Others may spend a semester allowance (if provided) on residence hall décor. This is the time for you to listen for clues that your student may be making poor decisions. Affirm the good choices, and talk about priorities.
Advice for the first few phone calls:
- Reassure students that feeling overwhelmed is normal for freshmen learning to manage academic demands and personal responsibility.
- Ask how they’re managing their time. Surprise them with a daily planner in the mail and a personal note. If they need additional assistance, remind them of the Center for Student Success in Martindale.
- For students experiencing homesickness, encourage them to reach out to their residence hall community assistant or stop by the Office of Leadership and Advocacy to learn about different student organizations in which they can get involved. Our University Counseling Center is also a great resource for students who miss home.
- Be sympathetic but careful not to provide too many suggestions on how to “fix” their problems. Convey confidence in their ability to navigate the new college environment.
Contact the Ole Miss Family Association at 662-915-5051 to discuss other ways to assist students as they navigate the University of Mississippi.
*Source: The UniversityParent Guide to Supporting Your Student’s Freshman Year by Sarah Schupp