Questioning Program/Changing Majors
It’s not uncommon for your student to call home nervously expressing questions about their current program of study. Sophomore year is a combination of general education requirements and the fundamentals of the choice program. Sometimes these courses are more of the “how-to” rather than the “doing.” Often students have a misconception about college classes and assume the program will be just as “fun” to study as it will be to do post-graduation. For some these such courses can be the deciding factor of whether or not they are truly interested and/or have the ability and drive to complete the program. Engage your student in a constructive conversation that positively identifies where your student is at. Is it positive reinforcement during a time of struggle that is needed or a change of major? Either way, keep your student’s ultimate success in mind and offer your student support and love, and remember that these questions are all part of the process.
Plan for the Tough Conversations
Regardless of the topic it is routine that at some point, students tend to call home expressing their struggle in a certain area. Whether its social or academic, keep in mind that your student expressing themselves takes great courage. Remember your role has transitioned and the way you helped your student in high school through a similar situation is much different from now. Ask yourself how will you react? What can you offer? How can you help in a way that will keep your student on a path of individual growth and success?
First year students get an overwhelming amount of invitations and education about extracurricular activities. The excitement alone can drive them to stay positive and create wonderful experiences. Sophomores, not new to the routine, often overlook all of these wonderful opportunities, even though sometimes there are more clubs and organizations the following year than the first. Remind your student to get engaged in University life outside of the classroom and encourage them to try out something new every semester.