A Successful First-Year Experience

Use this resource as a guide to help your student get the most out of their experience at Grand View.

6 Ways You Can Help Your Student

  1. Encourage your student to establish guidelines with roommates early, and to talk regularly with each other about how they are getting along.
  2. Discuss the necessity to attend every class meeting, prepare before class, and in turn in all assignments on time.
  3. Stress the importance of effective time management, and discuss the dangers of spending too much time online.
  4. Encourage them to meet with professors and advisors, and use resources in Academic Learning and Teaching.
  5. Advise them to take in campus events, meet people, and get involved. Engagement outside of the classroom contributes to learning and development.
  6. Ask what they like most and least about college; help them build on the positives and develop solutions for alleviating the negatives.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Student for Campus Life

  1. Clearly identify dangers that are related to intoxication. Does your child recognize the inherent dangers of accidents that are associated with a high level of intoxication? The most significant threat to college students from alcohol is accidental injury. These injuries aren’t just from drinking and driving. The majority of contusions, abrasions, lacerations, and broken bones that occur late at night are related to drinking. A simple fall can sometimes have serious consequences. Does your child also recognize the consequences of alcohol altered behavior? Lowered inhibition is one of the most frequently cited “favorable” effects of drinking. But much of the violence that exists on college campuses is alcohol related. The phenomenon of “beer muscles” leads many individuals into situations that can result in negative consequences. The incidence of sexual contact, unprotected sex, and sexual aggression occurs more frequently under the influence of alcohol.
  2. Ask your child to share their values/standards regarding drinking. While the ideal is to abstain from alcohol until legal age, data indicates that the vast majority of students experiment with alcohol prior to their graduation from high school. Certainly, their values regarding the use of alcohol are well formed by the time they are high school seniors. Not all use is abuse and the majority of students use alcohol in a responsible manner. Where does your child fall?
  3. Create realistic expectations. For most students, their first year is the first time that they will live away from home. Talk about the temptation to do all the things they couldn’t do if they were at home. How will their social life affect their academic goals?
  4. Lay down the ground rules. Tell your child if he/she decides to drink and gets into trouble that results in fines or other discipline, they must pay the attendant penalties. You will not “bail them out.” Research shows that while people are aware of the possible negative results of the abuse of alcohol, they do not believe that these problems can happen to them. Protecting your child from these consequences only fosters this erroneous belief.
  5. Support their growing independence. Discuss this step as emancipation. Show them that you care for and support them without “smothering” them.