Getting Ready for College

Getting Ready for College: Suggestions for Parents and Families

The summer months between high school and college provide an opportunity for students and parents to start planning for the adjustments that college life will bring.  This is also a time for parents to share some of their own concerns and expectations.  Focusing on issues such as personal responsibility, safety, and the importance of making healthy choices can set an important tone as your student prepares for this new experience.

Following are helpful suggestions to assist you in this process:

Help your student prepare for increased independence.

  • Allow your student to wake up in the morning without assistance.
  • Show your student how to do laundry, if you haven't already.
  • Help your student learn how to manage money - responsible spending, budgeting, balancing a checkbook.
  • Help your student take responsibility for planning.  Buy a calendar or planner and have your student identify important dates and get used to managing their time on a daily basis. Working with a committed digital native?  Virtual planners and calendars can work as well, as long as students use them!
  • Help your student be nutritionally smart.  Discuss healthy vs. unhealthy food choices and eating habits. You can check the daily Caf menus on the Viterbo app or via our Campus Dish website.

Share your expectations.

  • Review your expectations as they relate to your student's choices concerning alcohol and drugs.
  • Help your student be aware of personal safety issues and making smart choices.
  • Share your own personal values as they relate to peer pressure, need for independence, and personal responsibility.

Do your homework.

  • Attend Parent Orientation.
  • Explore the Viterbo University website.
  • Understand there are policies and regulations students are expected to abide by.  Refer to the current Student Handbook and Code of Student Conduct, if needed.

Tips for your student:

  • Attend classes:  Your student must attend classes!  Attendance directly correlates with their grade in the class.  They must be present to learn.
  • Be prepared:  Your student should (1) read all course materials; (2) complete and submit assignments on time; (3) prepare and study for exams in advance.
  • Use the syllabus:  Your student syllabus will contain information for assignments and due dates for each class as well as the faculty contact information and expectations.
  • Get involved:  Your student should attend campus events, join clubs, participate in service events or find other ways to be involved.  An involved student is an engaged, happy student.
  • Being a full-time student is a full-time job:  For every hour in class, your student should spend two-three hours outside of class studying.
  • Get organized:  Your student should use a planner and fill in assignment due dates from the course syllabus.  The Academic Resource Center website also has great time management tips.
  • Get to know the professors and advisors:  Professors can help with class material and test preparation.  The advisors can assist with career plans and serve as potential references. Make use of office hours - challenge your student to go to at least one office hour for every class they're taking. 
  • Students are their own best advocate -- they should ask for help when needed!  Not only are you helping your student address their present concern, you're cultivating a critical life skill - self-advocacy!

As always, if you have any questions, be sure to reach out for assistance or answers. We're here for you!