It’s almost time for college finals, so I am on the lookout for good ideas to include in a care package. I love the days when I leave the post office knowing a box of care and love is on the way to my college student! I have four daughters in college right now, and I have learned a lot over the past few years about when to help and when to stay out of the process. On college campuses, “FINALS” is a stressful word! Consider the following ways to help reduce stress levels for your student during December 3-15.
GIVE YOUR STUDENT SPACE: The campus feels different during “Finals” time because the whole community is focused on crucial tests and projects. There’s a buzz of excitement and nervousness combined with caffeine and naps. Students often study best surrounded by others who are studying, so be prepared for more times away from home or less communication from your on-campus student. Allow your student space and time needed to manage the study responsibilities. Discuss an alternate schedule if your student typically handles essential family responsibilities. Finals take place December 3-15, but some students increase study time a few weeks ahead of time.
CREATE A CARE PACKAGE: A care package is a favorite way for parents to remind their students that they are thinking
about them and support them along their college journey. Students living in the dorm love getting care packages in the mail, but you can create one for your commuter student too. You can google creative ideas, but usually, students appreciate receiving notes of encouragement, favorite snacks, gift cards for coffee or food, clothes to lounge in, and stress relieving ideas or activities. The whole family can participate in adding something to the package.
FEED THE BODY & THE SPIRIT: If your student lives at home, remember that studying makes people hungry! So keep the kitchen stocked with favorite snacks or serve some favorite foods. Caffeine is a must for most students. Worried students need extra helpings of food for the soul too, so offer words and gestures that encourage and support their efforts.
LET GO & LET THEM FIGURE IT OUT: Overall, trust your student to get the help they need and let go of the need to
micromanage schedules. Students tell us that their professors have prepared them for the tough week, and parents who are overly anxious add stress to an already difficult time. If you know your student typically procrastinates and has yet to develop healthy study habits, you can suggest the Academic Success Center, where free tutoring is available NOW, and tutoring appointments get booked the week before finals. HBU’s ASC is a great place to visit early and visit often. If your student is tempted to drop a class before taking a final, encourage an appointment with the academic advisor (each student has one and information is available through Navigate).
DEPARTMENT OF STUDENT SUCCESS SUPPORTS HBU STUDENTS: As the semester comes to a close in December, you may start sensing that something is different with your student. Know that professors are preparing for final exams, students are scrambling to form study groups or find quiet study times, and coffee lines are growing longer. Know also that The Academic Success Center is open longer to help students reach their academic goals. Success Coaches and Academic Advisors are available any time to offer support and academic guidance. Moreover, TRiO and Gen1 provide opportunities to stay connected during this time. The whole Husky community is working together to finish the semester well!
Written by Rachelle Dooley, Administrative Assistant at the ASC, parenting college students since 2010.