New Student Orientation & Transition Programs

Tips and Advice

As students prepare to enter their college years, parents and supporters often have their own lists of questions and concerns about how to best support their new Wildcat. Below are tips from other parents and supports that may help you and your student.

Keep the lines of communication open. Stay in touch through scheduled phone conversations, email, physical mail and/or care packages. Show an interest in your student’s classes, new friends and activities, but recognize they may sometimes be hesitant to talk. Allowing your student to share at their own pace sets a positive foundation for open communication.

Be understanding and a good listener. Support your student by understanding the stress that new students feel as they try to adjust to daily patterns that differ from those they have previously known. Parents often provide a sense of security, and students need to be able to turn to them for comfort and support.

Be positive and patient. Adjusting to college life can take time, and your patience is reassuring to your student. Both students and parents may experience difficulties during the transition, but a positive attitude can go a long way.

Anticipate academic challenges. Your student will need to focus on a variety of skills to be successful, including time management, study skills and prioritization. They should become familiar with academic support services on campus. Also, encourage your student to meet regularly with professors, teaching assistants and academic advisors about any concerns they may have.

Encourage a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Encourage your student to make choices conducive to maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. In planning their schedules, students should make decisions that allow time for healthy eating, adequate sleep and exercise.

Encourage out-of-class academic pursuits. Encourage your student to connect with faculty, pursue research interests, join student organizations and take advantage of the many academic opportunities. Support your student and make suggestions, but don’t pressure them to choose a major or career right away. Rather, encourage your student to explore subjects that interest them.

Encourage your student to explore Chico.  The City of Chico has a tremendous amount to offer. Whether your student loves outdoor recreation, such as breathtaking Bidwell Park, or spending time in a small downtown area with lots to enjoy, Chico is a vibrant community that extends beyond the campus and includes a vibrant center to enjoy a regional center for business, recreation and cultural activities, and the spirit of an involved community.

Know where to look for help. There may be times you would like some guidance in assisting your student and knowing when it’s appropriate to refer to campus resources for help or advice. This handbook and the following website serve as great first steps in learning more about how to partner with the university in making your student’s college year successful.

Encourage your student to get involved. This will help your student feel connected to the Chico State campus and community. There are a wealth of opportunities for involvement, so encourage them to experience all that Chico State has to offer. Remind your student to take the initiative, as opportunities come only to those who knock!

Teach your student to navigate a challenge. When/if a problem comes up at school, help your child find a solution to the problem, rather than calling or coming to campus and fixing the problem for them. They will learn from the experience.

Make a plan to check-in. How often would you like to communicate with your student, and how will you communicate (phone calls, text, Zoom)? How will your student get around (car, bicycle, public transport)? Consider the cost of car insurance and parking permits if your student plans to bring a car to campus.

What is your student’s budget and financial plan? Discuss:

  • How will your student stay on top of paying bills?
  • What will your student do to manage everyday expenses?
  • Should your student get a job on campus?