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Empowering your daughter

For the majority of students, attending college involves a heightened level of responsibility to which they are not accustomed. As parents or guardians, you have likely played a major role in helping your daughter to deal with financial, health, academic, and scheduling issues. Over the summer, please work with your daughter to help her begin thinking about how she can take responsibility for herself and her affairs in college without having to rely on you as much as she has in the past. While it is natural for you to want to intervene and fix problems for her, we encourage you to step back whenever possible and allow your daughter to take charge. Here are some suggestions to help both you and your daughter prepare for this time of transition.

  • Encourage your daughter to use all resources at her disposal to handle situations on campus before you intervene. Often, a student will tell a parent or guardian about a problem with a roommate or an academic matter before talking with the staff member or instructor who can help. If this kind of situation arises, please urge your daughter to speak with the person in charge before you pick up the phone and intercede on her behalf. This summer, it would be helpful if you could spend some time with your daughter reviewing the "Contact Us" link off of the New Student Information and Parents/Guardians of New Students Web pages so she will become familiar with the various offices on campus and will know who to call when she has a problem or a concern.
  • Encourage your daughter to create a filing system for important documents such as receipts, financial forms, bank statements, medical records, and materials related to her academic record.
  • Reinforce with your daughter the importance of keeping appointments, showing up on time for classes, work, and other activities, and being aware of important dates (drop and add, registration, final exams, first day of classes, breaks).
  • Urge your daughter to keep a daily planner in which she lists homework assignments and test dates as well as other important dates related to the academic calendar.
  • Urge your daughter to read the student handbook that she will receive at new student check-in. The student handbook is a great resource tool.
  • Instill basic concepts related to handling business matters such as getting names and phone numbers of people with whom she speaks about academic, financial, health, and other matters.
  • Allow your daughter to take control of her personal health. Encourage her to seek medical attention when she needs it and to make her own medical appointments.
  • Make sure that your daughter knows how to take care of basic needs such as laundry (we have a number of coin operated machines on campus) and looking after her belongings.
  • Instill personal safety practices including locking doors, traveling in groups, walking in pairs in well-lit areas, letting people know where you are going when leaving campus, avoiding drinking and driving or riding with a driver who has consumed alcohol.