Academic Success: Helping Your Student Persevere
It has been well noted that college is not a sprint but a marathon. Sometimes students begin a semester full of energy, enthusiasm and commitment, but as time goes by, they become distracted, complacent, or discouraged. How can you help your student stick with it through the second half of the semester?
First, talk with your student about her goals in life. What does she want to achieve ultimately? From these goals, help her to see how her performance now will affect her ability to achieve her goals in the future.
Second, understand that students naturally get tired during the semester. Encourage your student as he seeks to master the life skill of balancing the need to rest with the need to work hard. Don’t pressure your student to come home every weekend, if coming home saps his energy.
Third, if your student is struggling in one or more classes, encourage her to get help! Your student’s first stop should be with the faculty member of the course in which she is struggling. The faculty member can help her to understand the material and may be able to help her identify specific reasons she is struggling. In addition, there are a variety of resources on campus, including the student’s academic advisor, the Tutoring Lab/Writing Center, and the Center for Student Success.
Fourth, provide your student with positive encouragement. Students in their first semester are especially vulnerable to poor grades, because they have many adjustments to make. While you want him to know that you expect him to work hard, also help him to know that you love him regardless of the outcome.
L. Dianne King
Director of the Center for Student Success