Final exams begin on Saturday, May 9. That means your students are probably in the middle of finals preparation.
The good news is that they have been here before. They took a set of finals in the fall, so they have at least some idea of how much preparation and studying is necessary. The tough part is they have new professors and new subjects, so they probably still have a certain degree of anxiety about how they will do.
If your students appear to be anxious and stressed, here are a few suggestions on how you might best support them.
Let them vent. Sometimes just griping to mom and dad about how hard the work is and how overloaded they are makes them feel better.
Listen, but don't solve. It can be hard to not offer suggestions, tell your student what to do, or say what you would do if you were the student. This is, however, a time for the student to figure out the answers and process all the emotions. You might ask, "What do you need from me right now? Do you need me to just listen? Do you want me to help solve the problem?" This way you will know what your student wants from you, and you will not be adding to their stress by offering suggestions when all your child wants is to be heard.
Help boost their confidence. It can be difficult to remember that we are capable people when we feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Your students could use a boost right now: tell them you love them, you are proud of them, you know they will do their best and you are happy with their best effort. Sometimes a "you can do it!" from the person you love gives you the confidence you need to go forth and conquer. Care packages, cards and texts are all great ways to help their spirits.
Remind your student about all the resources available on campus. We have resources in our two very helpful student advisers: Ms. Sheila Howard, the Associate Director of Business Programs, who works with our undergraduate business majors, and Mrs. Sharon Oster, the Academic Success Adviser, who works with the rest of our undergraduate students. They are available to work with your children and are well-equipped to work with students who are facing academic challenges. Your student still has time to take advantage of these tutoring services.
Mention good practices. While they probably do not want a parental lecture, a casual reminder about important things like sleep, good nutrition and a little bit of exercise could be helpful.
Remind your student that "this too shall pass." Help your students have some perspective that exam week is but one week in their lives, and that the rest of their lives are not riding on the results. Help your student keep a good perspective – all they can do is their best, and then let it rest.
Tell your students you love them. This is always a good thing to hear!