University of Kentucky Parent Association

Monthly Tips For New UK Parents

July - Facing New Challenges in the Sophomore Year

The excitement of a fall semester in Lexington will once again provide a backdrop for new experiences and opportunities for your student to continue to grow as an independent young adult. Challenges are similar as new relationships are formed, and students set about the task of preparing for a career in earnest. Regardless of how your student spends the summer following the first year in college, there is a sense of a new beginning as the fall semester approaches. Much of the anxiety about the unknown is gone for now, replaced by new concerns.

-Living in a residence hall again or taking on the added responsibility and freedom of an apartment, which brings the challenge of traveling to campus each day by bus, bike, or automobile

-Catching up with old friends and reestablishing relationships put on hold over the summer

-Obligations to student organizations may put unexpected demands on them and challenge their -commitment to remaining actively involved

-Reassessing what is important socially and academically while finalizing an academic major and solidifying social roles

-Pressure from the University to choose a major by the time 60 credit hours have been accumulated

What Families Can Do

-Sit down with your student to review his financial needs for the coming academic year and work together to establish a tentative budget.

-Discuss how her new living arrangements will impact her academic year.

-Discuss part-time campus employment as a way for your student to gain additional income and valuable work skills.

-Be supportive of your student's search for the best career path by listening as he discusses options. Explore the need for counseling to establish career or academic goals.

-Encourage her to explore supplementary academic pursuits such as study abroad or internships.

-Encourage your student to establish a tentative academic plan and goals for the fall and spring semesters.

Review time management skills with him. Discuss his failures and successes at balancing the social and academic responsibilities in his life.

-Encourage your student to continue to seek new opportunities for growth experiences.

-Encourage your student to enhance her academic experience as much as possible by staying involved in activities on campus even if he is now living off campus.

-Encouragement and support by family can be meaningful in providing a safe environment to make thoughtful choices and weigh options. Now is the time for many students to begin to realize the importance of family and friends as a support system for the remainder of their college experience.