Supporting Your Student
As your student takes on adult responsibilities, your role will change, but your student still needs you. Students need you to support their growth, development, and independence, and to be a stable force in their ever-changing world.
- Stay Connected. Communicate regularly with your student. Text, call, FaceTime, or send a care package. Small gestures go a long way when it comes to maintaining a strong support system. Family Weekend is a great time to visit your student and the HPU campus!
- Ask Questions. Learning to navigate this challenging time can be difficult, rewarding, scary, and fun for you, and for your student. Give your student the opportunity to share feelings and ideas with you. He or she is experiencing new viewpoints and perspectives that may challenge prior belief systems. Allow your student to explore ideas without being judgmental. Understand that changes in viewpoints, behavior, dress, eating and sleeping habits, and relationships with parents are all to be expected during the college years. However, if you suspect that some of these changes may be signs of bigger problems, refer your student to the appropriate office on campus. Trust your instincts.
- Encourage Community & Campus Engagement. HPU has over 30 student organizations, various athletic programs, intramural sports, and other great ways to help your student connect, make new friends, and feel at home. The city of Brownwood is a thriving community filled with opportunities for part-time and full-time jobs, volunteering, events, organizations, and experiences to enhance your students stay.
- Help Identify Personal & Professional Skills. Oftentimes college students do not think of the skills that would benefit them in the future. It’s not unusual for them to be overwhelmed with the adjustment to college life – getting to class, completing their assignments on time, managing time wisely, and so many new responsibilities. Sometimes all they can think about is getting to graduation. Assist your student by helping them determine what day-to-day skills they are or could be acquiring that will transfer to their future career. Encourage them to embrace every learning experience that is a building block toward their goals.
- Be Patient. Perhaps your student hasn’t quite figured out their calling which means they haven’t declared a major or aren’t sure about the one they have selected. A major rarely dictates a specific job, so be patient and help assist your student in finding what major fits their skillset the best.
- Stress the Importance of Work Experience. Whether it be an on-campus job, summer internship, or volunteering, work experience of any kind is beneficial to your student! The HPU Center for Career & Student Success has numerous resources to assist your student in researching, preparing for, and gaining valuable experience that will enhance their resume upon graduation.
- Be Knowledgeable About Campus Resources. HPU has counseling services, academic advising services, student worker positions, financial aid, tutoring, disability services, and much more to aid in your students’ success. The Center for Career & Student Success posts job openings, internship opportunities, hosts resume writing workshops, hosts mock interviews, and offers 1-on-1 appointments as well. If you aren’t sure – ask! We are always willing to help direct you and your student in the right direction.
- Trust Your Student. It’s their experience! Your student will always value your input so help equip them to make informed decisions for themselves. Remember, you are now in a supporting role. Our goal is to have students become confident, independent people. We may have to allow them to struggle and maybe even fail on occasion. Even when an opportunity or adventure they choose may be scary to you, allow them to make the decision and support their new ideas and passions! They will learn to take responsibility for their decisions and they will grow into an amazing young adult with your continued support.