While much of this information pertains to parents or family members of new first-year students, there are often common issues we see for all students who are new to PSU. We have developed sets of monthly topics that will assist you in navigating this exciting and challenging time.
Questions to always keep in mind as you communicate with your students:
1. Are you going to class?
2. Are you studying at least 25 hours per week?
3. Are you reviewing the material in each class weekly?
4. Are you scheduling some down time?
5. Do you know when the last day to withdraw from a class is?
6. Are you starting your assignments early?
7. Have you sought academic help, if needed?
8. Have you gone to your professors' office hours?
9. Have you gone to tutoring?
10. Have you formed a study group?
The opportunities for your student at Portland State University are abundant.
- Let them adjust to the university during their first quarter but encourage them to get involved.
- Don't pressure your students to declare a major right away if they are a freshman. Most don't until their second year.
- Your students are safe. There are people looking out for them here. They need to take charge of their personal safety and be smart. Encourage your student to not leave their belongings unattended.
- Teach your students how to do laundry before they get here, and give them quarters for the laundry machines.
- Set up a system of communication so you are not waiting anxiously for your student to call, and so that your student has a clear understanding of what you expect.
- Familiarize yourself with the resources on campus so you can point your child in the right direction. See the helpful list we've put together for you on this website.
- If you're going to give your child allowances, work out a budget with them and hold to it.
Support Your Student
- Your student is growing up, so always support them throughout all their decisions. Be their support even when they think they don't need it.
- Leaving home is a big change, and it's important that families act as safe spaces where students can share thoughts and ideas.
- Send care packages. Send fun mail!
- Call your student. Though they may fuss about your call, deep down they are happy you are there for them.
- Send your student e-mails or pictures from home.
- Packages of cookies are always a welcome gift during midterms or finals.
- This is not the last you are going to hear from your kid! Your child is still yours, even if they have flown the nest, and they'll want to check in with you every once in a while; they love you.
But Let Your Student Be Independent
- They've come this far, so obviously there is a good head on those shoulders. Trust them to use it.
- Trust that everything you taught them will guide them.
- When your child comes home after their first year of school, they will be different, more independent. Embrace the person they are becoming!