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  • Parenting a College Student

    The months before your student starts college can be full of mixed emotions, from excitement and hope for your student’s future to sadness as you realize you are saying good-bye to their childhood. But be assured that you’re going to be saying hello to a wonderful new adult as your relationship changes into one of friendship.

    We are ready to partner with you in supporting your student and helping them take advantage of all Saint Vincent has to offer. Here are some suggestions to help you help your student:

    • Students who get involved are more likely to stay in school and enjoy their experience, so encourage your students to attend the Club Fair which takes place at the start of every academic year. They can join one of more than 60 clubs or learn how to start one of their own. Outside-of-the-classroom learning opportunities are not only fun, but they help you grow in areas such as leadership development, organizational skills, problem solving, and networking. Getting involved is also a great way to meet new friends and is a good cure for homesickness. 
    • Don’t worry if your students can’t decide on a major, or if they change their major after they’ve been through a semester or two – that’s very common. Encourage them to work with their advisor and to take advantage of the support offered through the Career Center that can help them determine what careers best fit their talents and interests. 
    • Encourage your students to benefit from “pre-paid” opportunities – while at Saint Vincent, your student will have access to many services they will have already paid for through their fees. Some examples include:
      • Activities and Programs: Campus organizations such as Activities Programming Board (APB) and the Student Government Association (SGA) bring movies, comedians, bands, and other entertainment to campus throughout the year. APB sponsors events every Wednesday evening and on weekends, usually in the Robert S. Carey Student Lounge. Events include bingo, comedians, game shows, and more. The Student Government also hosts a concert at least once a year. Recent performers include: The Goo Goo Dolls, All American Rejects, and The Clarks.
      • Health and Counseling Services: If your student is under the weather or feeling stressed, encourage him or her to visit the Wellness Center. Your student can see a physician, nurse or counselor at no cost, and any required medication is often available for little or no additional cost. 
      • Meal Plans: A late night pizza delivery or a dinner out with friends every once in a while is fun, but to keep extra spending to a minimum, if your student has a meal plan they are able to rely on Dining Services to provide tasty and diverse meal options through The Shack and The Community Center. Special accommodations are made for students with dietary restrictions or allergies. 
       
    • Earning a few extra dollars is always a benefit. If time permits, your student can take a job on campus in almost any area of the College. The Career Center can assist students who are seeking on-campus employment. 
    • College is a time many of the rules and restrictions your students have had all their lives are gone, and they have a new level of freedom in deciding for themselves what to do, where to go, who to see, and what to take part in. There are a lot of choices, some of which have lasting consequences, and balance is important. Remind your students to make decisions that will help them achieve their goals of graduation and a successful, satisfying career. Our Student Handbook includes information about student rights and responsibilities – we appreciate your support in helping your students understand the possible consequences of their choices. 
    • One area of choice which can stall or stop a college experience is that of alcohol and other drug use. While alcohol use is often portrayed on the big screen as a normal, fun part of college life, in reality, nearly all judicial infractions are connected to alcohol use, along with academic problems, assault, and abuse. Studies have confirmed that when parents talk with their college-bound students about alcohol use and how to avoid it, those students have healthier attitudes about activities regarding drinking, along with a significant reduction in drinking. 
    • What to Do When Your Student is Struggling
      If your student is struggling, it is important to know the resources available on campus to help your student even when you are far away. 
      • Academics: If your student is struggling with his or her classes, encourage her to talk to the professor before or after class or during office hours. Professors know the material better than anyone else and are always willing to help students. Saint Vincent College offers tutoring in almost every discipline. Your student also has an academic advisor who can suggest other options specific to your student’s needs. If your student has been diagnosed with a learning disability, he or she should contact the Associate Dean of Studies regarding special accommodations. 
      • Housing: You might get a call from your student about roommate issues. If so, encourage your student to talk with the roommate. If your student is nervous about discussing the issues, your student’s Prefect (Resident Assistant) is always there to help, and he or she has been trained to handle and mediate roommate problems. 
      • Emotional and Physical Health: The Wellness Center provides care through a staff of physicians and nurses, and also offers counseling services. Your student may benefit from counseling to help cope with classes or other stress factors in his or her life. Our Campus Ministers and Residence Life staff, along with other staff and faculty, are available to provide support as well.