If your mentee plans to live on campus, and their school is open for in-person courses and living, you want to focus on how mentees can prepare for setting themselves up both in their living space and in their academic program. For mentees who are commuting to school or unable to attend in person learning due to COVID, there are still many ways to plan ahead for life as a college student.
If a mentee's school is offering in-person learning and they are living at home, they will need to make arrangements for how their day will look when they start college: How will they commute each day? Will they come home for lunch? Will they use the commuter lounge to study between classes? What safety precautions are they taking?
Your mentee should talk to his/her advisor when registering for classes. Remind your mentee to not try to do this on his/her own! Some colleges let students shop for classes by sitting in on a few before deciding which to take, others have a “first-come-first-served” registration. Now is the time for mentees to figure out how course registration works at their college and what, if anything, they need to do to ensure they are able to enroll in the courses they’d like to take.
"Researchers have found that first-generation college students possess limited
knowledge of the college student role and college culture and generally complete fewer credit hours during the first year of college as compared to their non-first-generation peers (Greenwald, 2012; Stephens et al., 2012)."
Prompts for Communication:
Here are some ideas for questions or conversations starters you can use this month to open important and timely topics with your mentee.
- How does course registration work at your college? What is your course plan? Have you talked with your advisor about it?
- How many credits are you planning to take first semester? How does that balance with your work-study job? Are you still able to work because of COVID?
- If able to live on campus, how are you getting along with your roommate? Have you found anything to bond over?
- How are you staying on top of COIVD related news at your school? How are you feeling about everything?
- First, visit your mentee’s school website for information on registration and course catalogues along with COVID related news.
- 8 Tips for Choosing College Classes: A slideshow on tips for choosing freshman courses.
- 15 Things Parents Should Never Do: For some funny “Do’s” and “Don’ts” aimed at parents of first semester students, check out this article.
- Review sample supply lists for commuter students and/or residential students or visit mentee’s school website to see if they provide a supply list for new students.