Last week we blogged about how to talk about school/classes with your student. This week, we offer some hints about how questions that will help you figure out how well your student is adjusting to college, including residential life and connectedness.
To bridge the questioning between academics and social aspects of college, you might begin by asking your student if s/he has found a good study spot. It is important that your student find a space that is conducive to studying, free of distractions but not isolated. Remember to encourage your student to reward her/himself for reaching particular study goals.
We also suggest making inquiries into how connected your student is becoming to college life and to campus life/community. Some questions include:
- Who is the most interesting person on your resident hall floor you have met so far?
- Have you gotten involved in any organizations?
- Do you feel connected to anyone in particular? Professors/instructors? Counselors?
College success and retention research shows clearly that students who are connected to their colleges and universities are more likely to stay in school and ultimately graduate. Friendships and relationships built on campus and through campus organizations keep students interested in being on campus and engaging in activities that typically acknowledge and encourage good study habits.
Listen carefully to what your student tells you; remind her/him that college isn’t forever but also help your student to keep her/his eye on the larger prize: graduating. Campus involvement and activities help pass the time and create relationships that will benefit a student over a lifetime.