As the parent of a soon-to-be freshman, the thought of sending your precious baby off to college can be daunting. So to make sure you know what to expect during your child's first year at LSU, we've compiled a list of dos and don'ts for you. Because, heaven forbid, you embarrass your new Tiger on move-in day.
Discuss scholarship retention
Sometimes students take scholarships and TOPS for granted. The reality is that TOPS and every scholarship have retention requirements that must be met each year or semester. It is imperative that your son or daughter know what GPA they must maintain to keep a scholarship or TOPS, and what the consequence will be if they do not meet that requirement.
Expect a change in your relationship (for the better!)
Your teenager is now becoming a young adult, and it is very likely they will begin to seek out your opinion. Dr. Kurt Keppler, Vice Chancellor for Student Life and Enrollment stated, “Surprise! Your student will actually ask you for your advice and opinion from time to time. The key: wait to be asked. They still don’t want to be told how to handle a situation.”
Discuss responsible money management
It is very important for you to discuss responsible money management with your son or daughter. They should understand the benefits of saving and why this should start during their college years. “The keys to managing money while in college is budgeting and financial goal setting,” Emily Hester, Coordinator of the Student Financial Management Center at LSU said. “Most students believe that because they don’t necessarily have a large amount of money to manage that creating a budget is pointless, however, if a student can get into the habit and understand budgeting while in college then they will be less stressed about their finances and be set up for future financial success.”
Join the LSU Parents Facebook page
The LSU Parents Facebook page is filled with many helpful, informative, and uplifting parents who are going through the same thing you are, or who went through it the year before. No question or situation is too difficult for the LSU Parents. And in the rare case it may be, the page is monitored by Undergraduate Admissions staff who can also help find the answer.
Encourage too many visits home
As much as it will hurt to not see your son or daughter every day, the more time they spend at LSU, the better. Whether they’re studying, working, making new friends, volunteering, or being involved in an organization, they’re beginning to fit in to the LSU community. “Be glad when your student is busy and claims he/she can’t come home for a weekend,” Dr. Keppler said. “The more they stay on campus, the more campus is becoming a second home, and they are becoming more comfortable with college life.”
Expect everything to go as planned
No matter how much planning or discussing you do before August, there are some things that are inevitable. Dropping a class, getting towed, or losing an iPhone, for example, can certainly be avoided, but sometimes they just happen. Don’t worry! Making a mistake like this as a freshman will help your son or daughter learn a very valuable less on their own. It’s part of the college learning experience as students transition into adulthood
Call an RA or email a professor
When your baby was in high school, it was perfectly okay for you to call their teacher or their friend’s parent when they got into trouble. But this is college now, and your baby needs to learn to take care of things for himself/herself. No matter how bad a situation may be, it will do your child a world of good if you force them to take care of it on their own. And if you feel like you have nowhere to vent your frustration, turn to the (above mentioned) LSU Parents page. You will surely encounter some comforting words from other parents who have been in your shoes.
Cry over a failed test
Let’s face it. High school and college are not the same. Even if your child was a star student in high school, it is possible they will fail a test or two in their first year at LSU. Once again, don’t worry! There are so many resources on campus for students, such as the Center for Academic Success. Not only are there private consultations to assess your child’s specific learning style, but they can participate in learning workshops both online and in person, supplemental instruction for an array of courses, and get tips for starting an effective study group. The Center for Academic Success isn’t just for students who struggle, though. Any student looking to improve their GPA and study skills should utilize CAS’s resources.
What do you think? Are you the parent of a current Tiger? Do you have any additional advice for parents of incoming freshmen? Leave your advice in the comments below.