Preparation for College Life – Part II

Preparation for College Life Part II—Questions to Ask and Where to Ask Them.

by Shelly A Meyers, M.S. Ed. 

August, 2007 

The college campus can be a very exciting and intimidating place. Locating the appropriate buildings, finding services, and surveying the off-campus community can be daunting in the beginning. So where do you start? There are questions you or your child can ask that will make this part of on-campus living much easier. 

Where are my classes? When students receive their schedule there should be a building location and room number indicated next to the class number and title. Usually a campus map is not attached to the schedule. When your freshman goes through orientation they should receive a student handbook or planner—the map is usually located there. If not, find the dorm resident assistant (R.A.) to ask for directions. Usually during move-in weekend there are designated faculty, staff, and students to assist with this as well. Be sure not to wait until the first day of classes to locate the classrooms. Classroom numbering doesn’t always make sense, and on a big campus such as a state university this may mean the difference of several miles between buildings.  

Where do I eat? On a small campus there may only be one dining facility or cafeteria. The easiest person to ask is a fall athlete. Chances are they have been there for a few weeks for camp and are now seasoned veterans. On a large campus there are several dining facilities, and your child’s meal plan may only work for one. Be sure to ask wherever you purchased the meal plan, usually student services. Again, the R.A. is a good resource as well. 

When is tutoring or study hall? If your child is an athlete, these times will be made known by the athletic coach or NCAA/NAIA athletic coordinator. If not, contact your disabilities services office and make an appointment with the director or coordinator to schedule your tutoring. Be sure you read the guidelines pertaining to absences. Some programs will discontinue services if attendance becomes a problem. The best disabilities services will have one-on-one tutoring that will be catered to your child’s schedule so be sure to ask if these services are available.  

Where are counseling/ medical services? Your disabilities services office should have this information as well. If you have decided not to use those services, you can check with your student services office as well. Usually an R.A. would know, but there is a confidentiality and confidence issue that should be considered. 

One last point—There are many opportunities to get involved at the collegiate level. There are sports, clubs, societies, intramurals, and socials. If your child suffers from any sort of depression, encourage him/her to get involved. Be sure that the disabilities services office is aware of the signs of depression as they present in your child. Call often the first few weeks, even if they don’t answer the phone. Knowing they still have support can mean the difference in a successful first semester experience. 

by College Coach, Shelly A Meyers, M.S. Ed.   

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