University of Kentucky Parent Association

Monthly Tips For New UK Parents

August - Welcome to the University of Kentucky

Starting college is an exciting and challenging experience for new UK students and for their families as well. As students begin their college careers, they are often concerned about adjusting to their new environment, which may include some of the following issues:

-Homesickness and feelings of insecurity

-If living on campus, sharing living space with a new roommate

-If living at home, feeling disconnected from campus and other students

- Feeling overwhelmed in a foreign environment; navigating campus, learning unfamiliar policies and procedures, and meeting new people

-Assuming responsibility for day-to-day actions and choices

-Feeling disconnected from family and high school support system, which may include a long-distance romantic relationship

-Adapting to a new, more challenging academic environment:

     -Questioning previously held values while learning new ideas and perspectives

     -Time management-balancing obligations, deciding how to use "free" time outside of class

     -Completing reading assignments, studying notes, and preparing for tests and quizzes

     -Larger classes

     -Confusion about academic expectations

     -Attending class

     -Different relationship with instructors

     -High school study skills not appropriate for college work

What Families Can Do

-Before the start of the fall semester, talk to your student about the upcoming school year. Discuss your expectations and listen to your student's expectations. Important topics of discussion include academics, alcohol, campus safety, finances, and communication. Be open and honest with each other.

-University Health Service encourages first-year students to get vaccinated for Hepatitis B and meningococcal meningitis.

-Communicate with your son or daughter to listen and provide reassurance. Resist the temptation to try to fix problems.

-Reassure your student that the adjustments she is experiencing are common and expected for first-year students.

-Encourage your student to participate in K Week activities as well as other campus activities, such as those taking place in the residence hall. Suggest that he explore opportunities to join student organizations. The Kentucky Kernel student newspaper is a great place to find out what is going on.

-If your student is living in a residence hall, encourage her to get to know her R.A.

-Recommend regular exercise and use of the Johnson Student Recreation Center.

-Encourage your student to participate actively in class and meet with instructors during office hours to get to know them and discuss class expectations.

-Encourage your student to purchase and use a calendar, planner, or other personal organizer to stay caught up with tasks and obligations.

-Remind your student that regular class attendance is important, whether it is required or not.

-Make plans to attend Family Weekend