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Help Your Student Adjust to College AcademicsSuzanne Shaffer
Mid-semester or mid-quarter can be a reality check for many students.
Sometimes, classes are going well and they can congratulate themselves, but other times things may not be going as planned.
This is a good time for a check-in conversation with your student, and also a time when they may need some extra support. There is still time to shift direction.
There are many differences between high school and college, but one of the biggest is that students may not receive as much feedback on their work throughout the semester. Some classes may even have only a midterm and final exam.
At midterm, your student can reflect on whether their study habits are working, or if they need to make changes for the second half of the semester. Studying for midterms is a chance to solidify their grasp on material covered so far in a course and check for any gaps in their understanding.
Midterm exams and grades provide an opportunity for students to explore options, make decisions and get back on track if necessary.
But reality checks, course corrections, options and decisions can also come with a great deal of stress.
Mid-semester, and the exams, papers and projects that come with it, can be a stressful time for most students.
Having to take a big exam that covers half of the semester’s material is still a new experience for many students. Some assignments may have been on the syllabus since the beginning of the term, but forgotten. Students now realize that exams are around the corner, chapters are still unread, or a forgotten paper or project is soon due.
Some students thrive on stress and seem to take it in stride, but for many students, this stress can feel debilitating.
Your student needs to find their own ways of dealing with stress, but you don't need to feel helpless — there are ways to provide guidance and support.
Midterms are over! Your student has survived.
At some schools, that’s it. It will be up to your student to look at grades on exams or papers and figure out where they stand. Some schools will give an informal indication of where your student stands (perhaps Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory), and others may post formal grades. These midterm assessments are meant to give the student feedback about their work so far.
How do you help your student make sense of the information that midterm grades can provide?
With the stress of midterms over, it's a good time for your student to think about what’s next.
Keep the emphasis on moving forward. And then, once again, it's time for you to step back and allow your student to use their lessons learned to plan their next steps on the college journey.
When your college student starts their first semester, it’s not just a big deal for them. It’s a big deal for you, too. Get the First Semester Guide for College Parents now!