Parents, supporting your college student is always important, but it’s especially important now that college looks so different because of the pandemic. Keep reading to find out how you can motivate your student to learn and support them in their journey towards a college degree during COVID.
1. Check in with them regularly: It’s important to check in with your student about their academic progress and general well being throughout the semester. Consider having your student send you their class schedule so you can check in with them before or after a class, especially on days where they have a presentation or a test. Follow different Millersville University accounts on social media to find out about events happening for both students on and off campus, and encourage your student to attend and participate.
2. Offer your student help: If your student is having trouble keeping up with their classes, ask them what is making their classes so challenging and if there is anything you can do to help. Encourage them to contact their advisor and visit the Millersville University website for helpful resources. Knowing that they have your support and that they can come to you when they are struggling is extremely important, even if there isn’t much you can do to help with their specific situation. If they’re discouraged about the fact that most classes and events are virtual, simply listen to how they’re feeling and sympathize with them. Sometimes the best help you can offer is being a good listener.
3. Make sure they have a suitable learning environment: The main way you can positively impact your students learning environment while they’re living in the residence halls is by making sure they have the proper technology to take classes and get their schoolwork done. Having the appropriate technology is important so that students can stay connected in class and can attend every class session without issues. Laptops and computers can be a bit pricey, so if your student needs a new one, we encourage you to let them know about student discounts like this one or this one.
4. Encourage your student to overcome challenges: Having some or all of your classes online can be difficult, but it is doable. Remind your student that it is there responsibility as a student to make the most of their classes by attending each one, paying attention, participating, and completing assignments on time. If they are a first-time student, remind them that college is an adjustment and it may not be easy now, but will get better with time and hard work. Remind them that they’re not alone – every college student is experiencing challenges. Showing that you’re not giving up on them will help your student not give up on themselves.
5. Remind them they can still be involved in campus life: College students who are living both on campus may feel like they’re not connecting with other students because most classes are virtual. Fortunately, Millersville is offering lots of virtual events and activities for all students to participate in and make connections at. Students can also still join clubs and meet new people through virtual club meetings. They should also reach out to students in their classes, especially classes they may be struggling with, to get help with assignments, hold virtual study sessions, and just have someone to talk to who can relate to what they’re going through. Tell your student these things if you think they’re feeling disconnected from campus life.
6. Show enthusiasm about their success: Students willingness to do their best work is heavily influenced by the support or lack thereof from the people in their life. As a parent, it is important that you encourage your student to have a positive attitude about college. Boost their confidence by telling them you believe in them and that you’ll be proud of them as long as they try their best. Remember that every student’s “best” looks different, so it’s important to know what your student is capable of and not push them past their limits.
Here are links to some helpful resources:
- Housing has some fun virtual events coming up for students to participate in! Check out our latest blog post for a list of upcoming events: https://blogs.millersville.edu/housing/upcoming-room-selection-events/
- Millersville University resources for parents and families: https://www.millersville.edu/parents/
- Help with online courses and other Millersville University resources for student success: https://www.millersville.edu/currentstudents/
- Helpful tips for taking online classes: https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/tips-for-taking-online-classes/
- Advice on how to study without burning out: https://www.npr.org/2019/09/03/757161013/how-to-do-well-and-be-happy-in-college
- How college students can stay sane during the pandemic: https://claritychi.com/8-ways-for-college-students-to-stay-sane-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/
Whether you went to college or not, or whether your student is a graduate student or a freshman, there are plenty of ways you can support them during their time in college. Be there for them and tell them about the resources Millersville offers students to help them do their best and enjoy their college experience. Remember that you’re on this journey along with your student, and your support has a major impact on their success.
Lydia Shaloka is a senior Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing at Millersville University. Her interests include digital marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. When she graduates in May 2021, Lydia hopes to work for a digital marketing agency either in or near her hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
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