The traditional-age college student is at an "in-between" time of life: not a child but not a fully independent adult. This is a time when students find out more about themselves as people, and learn how to navigate the larger world. There are people at Fordham whose job is to promote these kinds of growth opportunities for students. We know that learning new things can be uncomfortable at times after all, who grows in the easy times of life? We also understand, however, that people need support to encourage and enhance their growth.
Some students come to college dealing with barriers that can interfere with their success. Others struggle when they face the inevitable challenges of life. Many students find it helpful, regardless of the source of their difficulties, to have someone who can help them during those tough times. That's when counseling can be valuable. Counseling services offers a non-judgemental, confidential place for students to sort out problems and come up with solutions. Since the focus is on developing better problem-solving skills, counselors help students understand their difficulties and devise strategies that will help them achieve their goals. It's up to the student to put those into practice, and work toward improving their approaches to situations.
We know that you want your student to grow socially, intellectually, physically, and spiritually while in college. We are able to consider the needs of the whole student, and offer a variety of services to encourage that growth. These include: individual and group therapy, psychiatric care, community referrals, and collaboration with other student services, such as campus ministries, health services, career services, and disability services, to name a few.
It can be a stressful experience for parents when a son or daughter begins their university career, especially if your student hasn't lived away from home before. Below are some strategies that might prove useful to you.
Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up. Attending to your emotional needs significantly helps everyone with the challenges that might arise. Feelings of ambivalence about your son's or daughter's leaving home are normal.
Make "overall wellness" a personal goal. Stay well by getting enough sleep, eating healthfully, exercising, and recharging by doing things you enjoy. Be a good role model to help your student balance his or her stressors.
Remember that coming to the University is a tremendously important developmental step toward full adulthood for your student. This is a time of experimentation and growth. Providing your son or daughter with this opportunity is a gift.
It can be painful and frustrating to watch your son or daughter make mistakes and grow or fail. Attitude and effort are keys to success. If you feel the situation is getting worrisome, contact the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services for a consultation with our counselor on duty. We are your partners in your student's success.
Supporting Your Student
Stay in touch. Contact your son or daughter on a regular basis. Even though he or she is experimenting with independent choices, your student still needs to know that you are there and available to talk. Listening is vital. Be open to hearing about both normal events and difficult issues.
Allow your student to set the agenda for some of your conversations. If he or she needs help or support, make room for touchy subjects to arise and be handled calmly.
Be realistic about academic achievements and grades. The transition to college-level academic demands can be difficult and can take time. Developing or refining the capacity to work independently and consistently can be more important than grades, as long as the student meets the basic academic requirements set out by the University.
If your student experiences difficulties at Fordham, encourage him or her to take advantage of the wealth of resources available for students. If your son or daughter could benefit from counseling, refer them to our free services.