At a meeting today, a group of students including myself were asked who was ready for the semester to be over. I think it would have been almost impossible to judge whose hand went up the fastest. Generally speaking, students are pretty exhausted academically at this point. We’ve been working away on our courses for the past 9.5 weeks (who’s counting?), have finished writing midterms, and now have final assignments and exams to look forward to.
One of the biggest struggles for students right now is to stay motivated. For students who are trying to improve their averages, it can be hard to find the motivation to dedicate even more time and effort to school work. Similarly, for those who are happy with their averages, it can be difficult to stay motivated to continue working at the same level because there isn’t the same sense of urgency in order to succeed. Students can also become demoralized when unhappy with their grades and “give up” feeling like no matter what they do, they won’t be able to improve their average. In general, it’s just a tough time of the year that involves a lot of work and not as much fun.
There are a lot of little things you can do to help your student over the next few weeks. As always, an empathetic ear to talk to is very helpful. If your student calls home in a panic because there isn’t enough time left to study for exams, let them know you understand the pressure but you think that he/she will be able to pull through. If you haven’t sent a care package, now would be a great opportunity. Sending snacks, magazines, notebooks, pencils/pens, bath products and other small items provides a great (but brief) distraction for students. Getting care packages is a big deal and other students will likely be jealous. If you know your student is friends with people living around him/her, packing a few extra snacks for them will make you very popular!
If you haven’t made it up for a visit to Guelph yet, a lot of students really appreciate you visiting them when they’re too busy to come home. When living on campus, sometimes it’s easy to forget there’s a whole city beyond the university and students can feel very confined. A meal out with family or friends from home can really help clear a student’s head! In previous articles I’ve mentioned the panel discussion for parents and families which will be held on Saturday, November 20th. If you are looking to visit your student, I would encourage you to visit with us as well! More information is attached to this blog post.
Another method to help alleviate some of the pressure from school is to give students something to look forward to. If your student will need a plane/bus/train ticket home that hasn’t been purchased yet, consider purchasing it for them so they can look forward to going home. Or, if you’re expecting special visitors over the holiday season, let your student know. From here to exams feels like forever to students, so providing them with a positive event occurring after can be very helpful.
I hope this article has given you a few ideas on how to support your student through the next month of school. I wish them all the very best during the end of their semesters!
If you have any questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org