Five Essential Tips for Parents of College Students

Going to university is an exciting and new adventure not just for students, but their families too. Parents frequently ask how they can support their adult child during their studies. Though every family is unique, we’ve observed some common themes that might help. It's hard at first but it gets easier.

1. Encourage them to get involved

At NYU Abu Dhabi, there is always something to do. Research shows that university students involved in extra-curricular activities:

  • are more likely to stay in school
  • are more likely to meet new people
  • have an enhanced sense of belonging
  • are more satisfied with their college experience

There's tons to do outside class at NYUAD such as competitive and recreational sports, intellectual talks or discussion groups, city events with others in the community, and Student Interest Groups. All the information your student needs is available on the student portal.

2. Do your own research

NYUAD students have access to a wide range of support services that promote safety and health and wellness. You should also know how to contact these services should the need arise. Examples include:

  • Health and Wellness Center and licensed health professionals
  • 24/7 Wellness Hotline

3. It's not all about grades

Academic expectations at NYUAD are rigorous. It’s normal for students with high marks in high school to get lower grades here. Grades are important but a positive overall experience goes far beyond marks. Be interested in all aspects of their college experience, keep your emotions under wraps, and try to avoid snappy judgments.

Are you a stress reducer or stress inducer? Stay connected to your student but don't be intrusive.

Virginie Sidi Ali Mebarek, NYUAD wellness counsellor

4. Be close but not too close

Ask yourself: are you a stress reducer or a stress inducer?

  • stay connected, but don’t be intrusive
  • discuss means and frequency of communication
  • don't make your student feel guilty for a missed call
  • give them time and space to contact you

5. Remember: times have changed

How was your college experience? Was it the best years of your life? Do not transpose your experience on theirs. It's a different time, school, place, and person.