To All of my College Freshman Parents and Students —
Many of you will be celebrating your students’ successes (and many of those were ones who struggled at first and bounced back). Still, some of your students are disappointed to get their first B, others are getting their first C (or lower) and may also have dropped a course. Success can be defined in many ways – sometimes earning a C is worth a celebration because of the effort and grit it took to pull the grade up from a bad start.
It is important to help your student develop a sense of perspective if he/she hasn’t earned the desired grades. The first semester transition is a challenge for many students and rougher on some. Please remind your students that this is the first of what for most will be eight semesters of college. Ultimately, first term will play a smaller and smaller role in their overall academic record.
If your students’ feel they could have done better, try to help them focus 🎯 on what they learned about themselves as college students in this first semester. It might be that your students’ can identify mistakes made and create a plan to avoid them in the future. A plan is important‼ – academic success should not be a New Year’s resolution, but something your student follows up on day by day.
If your student doesn’t really know what they could have done differently to improve their grades, an academic advisor may be able to help. In addition, taking advantage of all the resources available through the college’s Teaching Center (including Study Skills workshops, free tutoring by appointment, study edge etc.) can also help. It’s important to start utilizing these resources at the beginning of the term 📢
Most students learn how to be more effective each semester. They tend to figure out which study approaches work better for which classes, they get better at budgeting their time, they get better at recognizing early when a class is going to give them trouble, or if they are perhaps pursuing a field that does not engage them or does not play to their strengths. Please encourage your students to see this semester as part of the process of them becoming successful college students and, ultimately, graduates. They got into college because they were smart and capable, but they will have to adapt and try new strategies and pathways in order to achieve success.
Finally, I always say and remind students, it doesn’t matter where you start – only where you finish 🎉
Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas 🎅
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