College is an exciting time for many reasons, for both students and their families. It can also be overwhelming. Following some guidelines will help your student succeed and grow.

Encourage your student to keep a healthy schedule.

Enough sleep, proper nutrition, a balance between studying and enjoyable activities — during the stress of the academic year, these basics are often the first to be forgotten. Family members can be helpful in reminding their students to practice self-care.

Maintain open lines of communication.

Communicating with your student via text and social media can help you stay involved. This is how many students in the iGen communicate! At the same time, balance is crucial. Don’t demand constant communication. Help them find ways to depend on others in their social circles. In many cases, the absence of communication will mean that your student is busy and involved.

Discuss important topics, including difficult issues.

Read the materials sent by Colgate, as well as the Maroon-News and colgate.edu/news so that you can have conversations with your student about what is going on at the University.

Give your student space to grow and mature.

You have already spent years instilling your values; allow them to be realized.

Expect challenges.

College life can be difficult — and challenges are growth opportunities. Your student will build resiliency and prepare for life after graduation by learning to approach challenges with active problem solving. Be supportive rather than intrusive. 

LaFrance is associate vice president of ColgateCounseling and Psychological Services, which focuses on helping students to ameliorate problems that might be obstacles to their growth and development.