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Spare the phone, spoil the pen.
Write (or text!) often but don't necessarily call all the time. Many students are anxious for news from home but want it "on their own time." Writing (or texting) gives the freedom to respond when they are not busy while allowing them the security of knowing you are thinking about them.

Ask the right questions at the right time.
Students want to talk about their experiences but can feel overwhelmed if every time you have a conversation they are hammered with questions about their experience, daily lives, etc. Try to just have a conversation about mundane things as well as the more serious stuff.

Understand that your student will change; don't expect him/her to learn everything overnight.
College is a time of growth and development but each student experiences these changes at a different level. Don't be shocked if they come home and want to be dependent on you all over again. And also don't be surprised if they come home and want the same levels of freedom they have at school.

Expect mood changes too.
College students can be very happy one day and downright depressed the next as they experiment with their new lives. If you are concerned about their well-being, you can always refer them to the Counseling Center or call the counselors yourself for advice at 304-876-5276.

If your student lives on campus, visit (if you can) but not too early or too often and never unannounced.
Again, students like to have visits but on their own terms. It's a good idea to wait a good 4-6 weeks before your first visit to them or their first trip home to you. This gives you all time to settle down and get used to new routines while not living under the same roof.

Allow your student the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them.
College is about experimenting and learning from behaviors and experiences. Try to help your student learn from a mistake (a poor grade on a test, a behavioral violation) rather than getting upset right away. If the behavior continues, you can always contact us for advice.

Shepherd University | P.O. Box 5000 | Shepherdstown, WV | 25443-5000 | 304-876-5000 | 800-344-5231 | FAX 304-876-3101