Back to school also includes getting ready to drop off children at college
Aug 9, 2023, 2:17 PM
SALT LAKE CITY —As parents are preparing to drop off their children at college, experts share advice on how to get them through their freshman year.
Emotions and stress can be running high watching your child leap from high school to college.
The transition can be smoother if they know how to access help before they need it.
Aariyah Aiono – known as “Yaya” to friends and family – played volleyball all through high school.
Then during her senior year, she tried rugby for the first time. “I was like rugby with her small little petite stature, I’m like, I’m not sure girl,” Mom Anthea Aiono said.
She turned out to be a natural and got several college offers.
After talking things over with her family, she decided to take an academic and rugby scholarship at Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri.
“I always wanted to go to college, but I never pictured myself going out of state, so it’ll be different for me,” Yaya said.
Transitioning to college life will be challenging. “It’s the first time away from home,” Dasheek Akwenya is the director of the Center for Health & Counseling at Salt Lake Community College.
He said time management is crucial.
Students should study like it’s a job, make time for a balanced diet, exercise, and get sleep.
“So, it’s important for them to be able to make a schedule, set goals, stick to those goals, find the schedule that works for them too as well,” Akwenya said.
Incoming freshmen may not be comfortable advocating for themselves – especially when it comes to their mental health. Akwenya encourages students to access support services on campus.
He said, “When they’re feeling down, they need to build relationships with their, with their professors when they’re with their peers, or whether it’s with, you know, other student leaders on campus too.”
Students should also consider joining clubs on campus. It’s a great way to make new friends and get out of their comfort zone.
Anthea Aiono is proud of what Yaya has accomplished so far and can’t wait to see her thrive in this next chapter.
“It’s kind of bittersweet. I just want her to go. I want her to develop new experiences. I want her to meet new people,” she said.
Yaya is nervous but ready for a new challenge.
She said, “It’ll be kind of hard for me to get comfortable, but I can do it.”
One last tip from experts – talk to your college student about making smart money decisions, and take advantage of student discounts and free services.