First Year Family Blog

The first semester

Can you believe the first semester is already several weeks underway? We hope that you and your family had as much fun on Move-In Day as we did! There’s nothing quite like the beginning of a fresh academic year, and we love seeing all of the connections and excitement that our new students bring to campus.

Move in Day
Although the excitement of a new year and new opportunities are real, there are certainly challenges new students may encounter at some point in their transition and it is important for you to be aware of them. Your student may be experiencing areas of new growth including:
First Day Classes 2

  1. Establishing new relationships and connections. Whether your student already knew several other students at UWRF or knew no one, every student is trying to find their place. Building meaningful friendships and trust does not happen overnight. For some students this can take a few weeks, a couple of months, or even well into their second semester. If your student expresses that they have not found friends yet, reassure them that this is a completely normal part of adjusting to a new community. Many students coming to college may have grown up around the same group of friends for several years or more, and this is the first time in a long while that they’ve had to start over in building relationships.

First Day Classes 1

A few questions you can ask your student to gauge how they are handling this aspect of their transition include:
· What are you doing for fun when you have some downtime?
· Are you attending campus events?
· Are you connecting with your classmates outside of class?
· Have you picked a club or organization to join yet?

If they haven’t joined an organization, it’s never too late! The more events and programs they attend with other students, the more likely they will be to build those connections. Even the smallest act of keeping their residence hall room door open can help them connect with other students.
Involvement Center 1

2. Adjusting to academics. Regardless of your student’s high school performance, college courses are going to be different. The academic expectations are different. Even transferring from one college to another means there will be some variance in expectations within the classroom. Some courses may prove to be more difficult for your student. If your student is nervous about their academic performance, there are plenty of resources available them.
University Center

  1. Connect with professors?—?We recommend that all students connect with each of their professors at the beginning of the semester. They can do so before or after class or by stopping by their office during open office hours to simply introduce themselves. Many students may be intimidated by professors, but professors want to connect with students and more often than not are willing to work with students who are struggling with aspects of the class.
  2. Academic Success Center?—?This office offers tutoring, tips for efficient study skills, pre-major advising, and more. Better yet, these services are unlimited and free to students.
  3. Writing Center?—?If your student would like assistance with writing papers, this is the place for them. Even if your student feels confident in their writing abilities, the Writing Center is a great option for taking their skills to the next level.
    The most important thing for students to remember (and sometimes they may need this reminder from you) is that truly, they not alone in this transition. There is plenty of staff here at UW-River Falls who are ready and willing to help. Our Falcons are incredibly resilient, and we know that they can overcome the challenges that accompany being a college student. Know that the support that you provide them is invaluable.

UW-River Falls Move In Day