Student Life

What life skills does my college-bound child need to be happy and successful? How important are campus events like Orientation and Family Weekend? What if my student is homesick or doesn’t get along with his roommate? How do I talk to my daughter about Greek Life, parties and drugs? What should my student look for in off-campus housing?

College parenting is a delicate balancing act between supporting your student and nudging them towards full independence. Student Life focuses on the crucial social, extracurricular and on- and off-campus living parts of the college experience. To connect with other parents and pose your own Student Life questions, please join our Facebook group.

A day in the life of a college student

A day in the life

Have you ever tried to get in touch with your college student only to have your text or phone call ignored while you wondered where they were and what they were up to? Or perhaps you’ve called and woken them from a nap…at 6 p.m.? I recall being shocked when I texted my son at 8:30 one Sunday morning, figuring I would hear back later in the day, and he replied immediately. I asked why he was up so early and he replied that, since he had just returned to campus after a weeklong break, he wasn’t back “on schedule” yet. What is that schedule?...
A parent's guide to Greek life today

A parent’s guide to Greek life today

Many parents have a predetermined positive or negative opinion of Greek life based on their own experience. When my daughter began her college search, she wanted a campus with an active Greek presence. I had reservations, influenced by stories I heard and read about partying, drinking, hooking up and more. My daughter was barely 18 — my concerns were understandable! After observing her sorority experience, I’ve developed a different and more nuanced outlook which I’m happy to share. Let’s start with the pros. Lifetime friendships. My daughter made wonderful friends in her sorority. Her “sisters” helped her navigate the ins and outs...

Housing Decisions for Next Year

During second semester, students start planning for next year’s housing. They compare on- and off-campus options, consider which friends would make good roommates or housemates, and factor their daily routine and budget into the equation. It’s an exciting but also sometimes nerve-wracking process, especially for freshmen. What should you know in order to help your student make a good decision? Staying On Campus More floor plans to choose from For second-year students and beyond, there’s usually a wider selection of room configurations available, from singles to suite-style apartments. Pricing may vary. Special-interest housing Your student may want to consider residential communities that center on a...

Settling in Takes Time

Out and about in town, I often overhear people whose children have recently started college greet each other with, “How does (student's name here) like school?” The response generally is, “They LOVE it!” Now, I understand one might not want to go into personal details while standing on line at the deli counter or cashing a check at the bank. However, I also know there is a strong chance their child does not actually love college. After the lengthy and exhausting application process, emotionally wrought acceptance period, Bed Bath & Beyond excursions, and tearful residence hall drop off, it can be...

First Year Survival Tips

During a dash to Home Depot on move-in day with just the two of us in the car, I made my daughter put down her phone and listen as I told her two things: she could call for help, any time, no matter what, and she could bring anyone home as long as they treated her respectfully. To me, these were the most important messages I could give her to start college and an independent life. Every parent has something they want their student to take with them, that fundamental nugget of advice or wisdom, a skill or perspective that will...