In addition to giving you the facts and figures about UT Arlington, we also want to serve as a guide by providing basic tips about sending a child to college. The following tips have been compiled from a variety of resources including college parents just like you! To share a tip, simply email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before school starts
- Do your homework. The more you know ahead of time, the more comfortable you will feel when your student arrives on campus.
- Budget and discuss financial expectations with your student
- Have your student create a packing list, so they don’t forget anything.
- Make sure your student has an ‘in case of emergency’ card in their wallet.
- If you are dropping your student off at school, leave a note or a card somewhere in their new room. It will be a nice reminder of how much you care.
Once your student has arrived on campus
- Encourage your student to explore campus organizations and involvement opportunities.
- Understand that the college years are a time of exploration. Your son or daughter may come home with a new look, someone else’s clothes, new politics, philosophies, or eating habits. Most of these changes are not permanent. Remember to have a sense of humor and pick you battles.
- Students care more about what you think than they let you know. They quote you; they talk about you and look to you for encouragement. As they journey toward independence, sometimes they want your advice; sometimes they just want you to listen. The difficult part is figuring out which time is which.
- Don’t tell your student clichés such as ‘these are the best years of your life.’ Or ‘you’ll make friends for life at college.’ Students can stress themselves out trying to live up to these expectations.
- Consider sending a package with your student’s favorite snacks or goodies. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, but this ‘good luck with finals’ gesture is a real morale booster.
- A 4.0 grade point average is an amazing accomplishment, but don’t forget about page two of your student’s resume. Balance between academic achievement and co-curricular activity is key to getting scholarships, internships and eventually a job.
- Be aware of your student’s schedule and avoid calling to early, too late, or during class times.
- Before your student returns home for a break, renegotiate expectations. Your student has been making their own decisions for many months and coming back to the ‘house rules’ can be quite a shock. Communication, flexibility, and respect—from both parties—will help to find a common ground.
While your student may be tempted to return home every weekend during those first few weeks, encourage him or her to stay on campus and build new friendships. Similarly, if your student lives at home and commutes to school, encourage him or her to attend programs and events on campus. Developing a sense of belonging during the first six weeks will increase student satisfaction and likelihood to persist and graduate.
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