College finals are coming up soon, and I know many of you have students who are about to be consumed with long days of studying study, late nights, and hours upon hours of squinting at a computer screen. It may coincide with “the most wonderful time of the year,” but it ranks as the most challenging time of the semester!
We want our sons and daughters to succeed, but we can’t hold their hands the whole way, either. Here are five things that I found can help to support a college student during testing season.
Keep Your Check-Ins at a Minimum
Too much calling, texting or writing can make an independent college student feel smothered. Add to this the time crunch of exam season and you’ll see why it makes a lot of sense to check in only every once in a while, and then only for short intervals of time. Remind them that you are always a call or text away.
A Quick Note of Encouragement Makes Their Day
In keeping with the above advice, it can help tremendously to send a little bit of encouragement their way.
This could be in the form of a greeting card, a funny meme or a simple text message. The goal is to keep things positive and bring some lighthearted fun into their day. If you know what subjects they are struggling the most with, tailor your encouragement in that direction. I remember that whenever a math concept would seriously challenge or worry me, my mother could always make me smile and bring some perspective to the problem by saying “I barely got D’s when I was in school, so in my opinion you’re doing just fine with anything above that!” 🙂
Something Extra Special: A Care Package!
Down South, where I’m from, we call it a “happy.” It means a little unexpected treat for someone you care about. That’s exactly where a curated care package comes in. You know your child best, so it will be fun filling the box with their favorite things. You can include things like books, coffee, pens and pencils, snacks, etc. If you don’t have the time to DIY a care package yourself, send a premade exam care package like this Exam Survival Kit or this Support Pack with healthy snacks. These care packages are sure to give your college student a small measure of relief. They are also a great way to let them know you are thinking about them without being overbearing.
Create an Incentive
The best part about final exams is that once they are over, college students get a much-deserved break. It might very well be the only thing that sustains them during this stressful time, so continuously remind them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Maybe you’ve got some family plans for Christmas or New Year. Or maybe you’ve got a great idea for a gift to celebrate their accomplishments. You might even ask your student for ideas. Would they like the whole family to get together and go out to eat after exams are over? Maybe go out with friends and do some Christmas shopping?
There are lots of ways to help your student stay focused and look forward to fun times!
Encourage Them to Take Care
What are the pitfalls that beset many busy students at exam time? Lack of sleep and poor eating habits top the list, so be sure to gently remind your child to “take care.” Let’s face it: as a parent, you’ve spent your life taking care of them. In the college years, this looks a little different because you have to pull back.
Remember that package I mentioned above? While you’re putting that together, consider tucking in some “self care” items like toiletries, herbal teas, vitamins and a favorite family Christmas movie.
When broaching the subject, keep it humorous and light. And try not to accuse. Instead of saying “Are you sure you’re getting enough sleep?” try “Don’t forget that too many late nights can spoil your good looks.”
And now, I’d love to hear your advice for staying connected to children away at college, and offering long distance support!
This post is a sponsored partnership with Nak Online Branding