5 Ways to Help Your Student Adapt to College Life

Starting college can be a huge lifestyle change. Whether your child is attending college in state or out of state, living on campus can present challenges, like sharing a living space with other people or using a communal bathroom. While living in a new place with new people can seem overwhelming, there are things that your student can do to help them adapt, like setting routines and planning for any challenges they might face.
Here are some things for them to consider as they get settled into college life.

1. Set a scheduled time for grocery shopping

Eating balanced, healthy meals during the week will not only help your student physically feel better, but it can also help their academic performance. Studies show students who ate breakfast regularly, and consumed more fruits, vegetables, and micronutrients, like whole grains, leafy greens, and beans, than junk food, saw higher academic achievements. Designating time each week, or at a cadence that works for them, to grocery shop allows your student to purchase foods that they enjoy eating and will make cooking more enjoyable for them. This also gives the student the option to purchase healthy snacks as opposed to picking up whatever is available at the dining hall during that time. While it’s still ideal to keep some dining hall credits, it’s also important to enforce how healthy eating can affect their mood and academic performance. In addition, if you child is a student athlete, good nutrition can help them perform better during practices and games.

Have your student take First Bank to college with them by opening a Student Checking Account.

2. Allow time for exercise each week

Just like setting time aside for grocery shopping, it’s important that your child partakes in some sort of exercise each week. Studies show that physical activity has many mental health benefits, reduced risks of anxiety, and improved sleep quality. Many college campuses have gyms, and some even have outdoor activities scheduled during warmer months. If your student isn’t comfortable going to the gym, encourage them to ask a roommate or classmate to take a walk around campus or go on a bike ride.

3.  Manage expectations for completing homework and studying

Your student will likely have a lot of homework through the school year and it’s important they set time aside to complete it and to study for exams. According to the Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development, 12 credit hours per semester is typically considered full-time, however, it’s usually not enough to graduate in four years. On average, a student generally spends two or three hours on homework or studying for each hour they spend in class, so it’s critical they are staying on top of their academic responsibilities in order to pass their classes.

4. Use a planner to keep track of school and work schedules

Many college students have a part-time job while attending college, whether that be on-campus or off-campus. Keeping track of your work schedule, school classes, homework due dates, and exam dates can get overwhelming. A planner can help them stay on track of their schedules and important school dates, as well as help keep your student more organized.

Learn how your student can attend college on a budget.

5. Create a safety plan

If your student is at a college in an area or school they are unfamiliar with, it’s imperative that they have a safety plan in place. If they need to leave their dorm room due to an emergency, do they know where the closest exit is? Do they know where the blue light phone and alarm systems are located on campus? Are there emergency alarm stations that anyone on campus can access and use if they are in distress or need emergency help? Does the school have emergency contact information on file? These things are necessary steps to help keep your student safe.

Starting college can be a big adjustment. Creating a routine can help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as help your student adapt to their environment quicker and more effectively. Reach out to a trusted First Bank representative to learn how First Bank can help your student manage their finances while away at college.