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Calming Tea

So, how do your freshman seem to be adjusting??

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My DD is a first year at Smith College. 

Initially she was disappointed that she was assigned to a single but after a bit of nosing around the housing website she determined that her house has a large number of singles and was good to go.

Orientation was tiring as she is a definitely an introvert and needs her sleep. Enrollment threw another blow at her as she only got 2 out of 5 classes. However, after a professor opened up a class for her, she switched sessions for another class, and discovered a third class that looked interesting, she has a full schedule and is enjoying her classes.

DD is gluten-free and food is always a question when going into a new setting. To date, she is enjoying Smith’s exclusively gluten-free dining hall and the freedom of being able to get a to-go box if she want to eat with friends in another dining hall.

Extracurricularly DD is doing well. She auditioned for and was cast in an on-campus production not to mention trying out a couple of clubs. She is making friends and having fun exploring with a variety of people. We were also very surprised when she scored a rare work study job. The interviewer was quite impressed that she had written a cover letter.

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I thought I would bump this back up a bit now that the freshmen have had a chance to settle in and get a few exams/projects/papers under their belts.  My dd just hit a bit of a wall and called me stressing out.  She dealt with a nasty case of Lyme Disease during High School and took two gap years before heading to college as a 21 year old freshman.  She worked part time those two years for...get this...our local school district (homeschool enrichment program).  It was the best thing she could have done.  Her work ethic and maturity was huge heading into college this year.

Unfortunately, she is also dyslexic and a bit of a perfectionist.  She is attending a very small school in Colorado that is a perfect fit for her, working toward dual Graphic Design and Graphic Media degrees .  Her roommate was also homeschooled and my dd loves her (just not her dating drama).  After working for the school system, dd has no trouble asking for helping and talking to the teachers , which is a good thing for a freshman.

Her biggest problem is herself and the demands she puts on herself.  Due to her past Lyme Disease, she needs to eat well, sleep well, and reduce her stress.  Due to her dyslexia, everything (especially her math class this semester) takes a long time.  She has been trying to make top grades in everything and I think she is wearing herself out.  Her anxiety is sky high. 

I have made a point of letting her know that she does not have to be perfect.  (After studying for days, she received a 105 on her first math test, and she has always struggled in math).  We have told her repeatedly that we do not expect "A's" every time she hands something in.  A low grade - or even a bad grade- is going to happen some day, and it is not the end of the world.  It happens, and we will love her and be proud of her anyway.  We also want her to enjoy college, enjoy the experience, make friends, enjoy living in the Rocky Mountains and all it entails (hiking, skiing, fly fishing - which she loves)  and to learn how to "roll with the punches".  

I am just not sure how to get this through to her in a way that will reduce her anxiety.

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Wow, she sounds like a real survivor and has taken great opportunities even while being ill and recovering!!!  My dd is also coming off of two years with MTBIs and the sale of her horse which was like losing a major relationship....I think when they re-start their lives, and re-set everything, they have anxiety because of the new fresh start and the expectations that are building up from having a fresh start.

I think after a while she will settle down but I agree with your advice to her, to consistently remind her that having fun is part of being a whole person and a healthy person.  If she stresses herself out, that can increase auto immune issues, so enjoying herself actually is best for her long term grades! 

🙂 God bless her, she sounds amazing and I love it that you want her to enjoy the experience.  I keep saying the same thing to my son as well,...look around...see what's available, meet new people and try some things 🙂

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Already midterms for my DD. Fall break in a week (four day weekend).

No idea how her grades are, but she's having a great time.

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39 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

Already midterms for my DD. Fall break in a week (four day weekend).

No idea how her grades are, but she's having a great time.

 

Yah, it's so crazy how fast mid terms come, and how everything moves along so quickly.  They even already have to request housing for next year at some universities and already have to make appointments with advisers and plan next semester's coursework.  Too fast!

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2 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

They even already have to request housing for next year at some universities and already have to make appointments with advisers and plan next semester's coursework.  Too fast!

Yep. Registration for next semester opened on Monday morning. Haven't heard about housing signups, but I don't always hear things... 

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This is why I would never ever send my kids to a college that runs on the quarter system. Too stressful! And all because they want to jam pack more students in 

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22 hours ago, MtnTeaching said:

I am just not sure how to get this through to her in a way that will reduce her anxiety.

 

 

I'm sorry. It is so hard to watch when our children struggle. She sounds like an overcomer though with all that she has been through for her age. 

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12 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

This is why I would never ever send my kids to a college that runs on the quarter system. Too stressful! And all because they want to jam pack more students in 

I went to a flagship that was on the quarter system in the 80's and early 90's and I actually loved the pace!  My son looked at a few schools that had it but they were all small LACs so it didn't seem like the motivation was to cram more students in?  Actually, to me it seemed like a way to get more people through with a BA in 4 years because it was a little more forgiving than just 2 semesters a year.  I can see it wouldn't be for everyone I guess.  

My freshman is chugging along.  He has gotten A's and B's in everything so far - or at least that's what he's shared. He is coming home in a couple weekends.  It's family weekend on his campus and we can't make it.  It's also his birthday.  So we're making it work!  But he's been gone almost 6 weeks now.  He broke his phone this week and that was a pain, but luckily we got him a new one shipped within 2 days so he's back in business.  It actually died while he was on a city bus and that caused him some grief.  Long story but all is well that end's well!  LOL.  He still likes all his classes still I think!  

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My freshman is stressing a little now due to upcoming midterms. A couple of his classes have only 2 grades-- midterms and finals--so they count for a lot. He's settled in very well with his roommates and other students. They apparently have a schedule for evenings Monday through Friday. One night is game night and includes other friends, one is DND night (it's only a 4 player game right now), one is laundry night, usually at midnight, and the last they all go grocery shopping together. I think it's pretty awesome that they've worked together to come up with something that works for all of them.  I was a little concerned he would be left out since his roommates all live within a couple of hours of campus, but that hasn't been an issue. He's enjoyed having the room to himself when they all leave and he has other friends down the hall who are also from out of town he hangs out with. He'll be home for Thanksgiving, but opted not to come home for fall break. It will be so nice to see him again! Both daughters will also be home, so that's special. One dd decided not to come home last year, so I wasn't expecting her to be home this year. It will be a treat!

Despite his distance, I feel like he's in a good place. Makes having him 15 hours away much easier!

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On 10/4/2019 at 12:17 PM, MtnTeaching said:

 

Her biggest problem is herself and the demands she puts on herself.  Due to her past Lyme Disease, she needs to eat well, sleep well, and reduce her stress.  Due to her dyslexia, everything (especially her math class this semester) takes a long time.  She has been trying to make top grades in everything and I think she is wearing herself out.  Her anxiety is sky high. 

 

The perfectionism/anxiety combo is so tough! I'm almost hoping my DS gets a less than awesome grade out of the way first semester so that at least he'll learn it's really not the end of the world.

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On 10/7/2019 at 9:14 PM, kokotg said:

The perfectionism/anxiety combo is so tough! I'm almost hoping my DS gets a less than awesome grade out of the way first semester so that at least he'll learn it's really not the end of the world.

The school my DD is at mentions a lot that some/many of the kids there have 1) maybe never had to study to learn something well and 2) may have never gotten a poor grade on a test or in a class. A lot of the parents were nodding their heads the first time it came up in an Honors parent presentation. I might have been the only one there with a kid who did not have a 4.0 weighted gpa. Or who had actually failed (as in 50% or less) a test or three. So I felt like mine was prepared. ;-)

Midterms are over for DD & she's on fall break for a few days. She has her Calc midterm grade & is happy with it. She's still waiting on a grade for her first English paper (of 4 for the semester). Overall, she's settled in well & enjoying the "perfect weather."

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My daughter is really enjoying her freshman year so far!  She is happy with her college choice.  She does commute from home (20 minutes away) because the freshman housing is awful.  She couldn't justify giving up her own room and bathroom to live there.  I think she will live on campus next year because her good friend wants them to room together and her friend will be a junior, so she will be able to get in one of the nicest dorms.  

I was a bit worried about her adjusting to college life because she has ADHD, was homeschooled her whole life (except a few CC classes), and is much more interested in riding horses than school, but she is really liking most of her classes and is doing pretty well in them.  I have made it very clear to her that she doesn't need to get all As.  She has no desire to attend grad school and will likely do something with horses as a career, so I want her to do her best, but not have so much pressure on her when her grades ultimately aren't going to matter.  

As an aside, the Democratic Debate tonight is being held at her school.  She got one of the (extremely limited) student tickets, so she is able to attend.  I thought that was a pretty cool thing for her to have happen during her first semester at college!  This past week has been a nightmare for her on campus though.  Parking has been extremely limited with the media, extra police, Secret Service, etc. 

 

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Edelweiss, that sounds awesome!  Glad she's doing well and also that she may get the chance to live on campus as well.  Best of both worlds.

My poor freshman son is extremely sick, with - get this- a virus that exists only at Penn State so it's interesting to the CDC and they're studying it.  Way to be committed to your school!  haha...all joking aside he ended up in the ER needing 4 bags of IV fluids, went home did BRAT diet, felt better, ate some chicken, went back to vomiting, back on BRAT diet...hopefully won't need to go back to the ER  ...so today doing BRAT, tomrroow BRAT plus chicken broth and crackers, for Friday he called hte chef and ordered some mild soft foods, and also for Saturday plain chicken and pasta, so hopefully he just needs to very slowly work his stomach back.  So far he has missed two classes due to this thing 😞 and gotten behind on homework due to visiting ER< visiting doctor, walking to get prescription, making and going to get INstacart orders, cleaning up puke and having to go to the laundry room over and over... 😞 I wish I could hug him.

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On 10/4/2019 at 8:44 PM, Calming Tea said:

This is why I would never ever send my kids to a college that runs on the quarter system. Too stressful! And all because they want to jam pack more students in 

I’m not sure the purpose of quarters is to jam more kids in. While I can certainly understand not liking the pace and it not being a good fit for everyone, you do get quite a bit more for your money. My son did semesters at the local LAC during high school where most students took four classes per term. On the quarter system during college at his university, most students also took four classes per term. So eight versus twelve classes per year on average. And he said every quarter class at his university covered more material in more depth than any of the semester classes he took at the LAC. So at least in his case, they did seem to be fitting a semester’s worth of material into a quarter. I realize that may not always be true, but even if not, you generally are getting more classes overall on the quarter system.

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