Seven Suggestions for Parents
1. Let go
Let them make their own decisions, solve their own problems, pick their own courses and, eventually, choose their own major. When they do choose a major, let the choice be based on intellectual passion, not perceptions of which major is safest or most pragmatic.
2. Listen and reassure
At some point in their first year, many students feel overwhelmed. They may call home, fearing their admission was a mistake. We often hear this. Listen, encourage and reassure. Suggest they talk to their academic advisor. Remind them of the support resources at Baruch College, such as tutoring, help with study skills and counseling.
3. Encourage them to get to know faculty members
The academic programs at Baruch are designed to encourage interaction between students and faculty. Surveys show that students who develop close relationships with faculty get more out of their education than students who do not.
4. Encourage them to learn for the sake of learning
Baruch's general education requirements are designed to encourage intellectual exploration. Suggest they study a subject they have never studied before. Many students are accustomed to collecting credentials needed for college admission. Encourage them, instead, to learn for the sake of learning.
5. Don't focus on grades
When you do talk to your kids, try not to focus on grades. Ask which faculty members they have met, which classes they enjoy, what they are learning and what they are doing for fun. Baruch students put plenty of pressure on themselves. What they need to know from you is that you believe in them.
6. Help them learn the difference between disappointment and failure
Many Baruch students are used to being the smartest kid in their class. At some point, they will experience something they will choose to label as failure--perhaps a "C" in a course--even if it is not. Not everyone can be first in his or her class. Assure them that their best effort is all you expect.
7. Call us if you are concerned or need reassurance
Colleges and universities are severely limited by federal law about what information about students they can share with parents. Nevertheless, if you are concerned about your first-year son or daughter or need some reassurance, call us.
Adapted from Stanford University