As we begin the first full week of the semester, I could use your help with a couple issues that typically arise for first-year students. These issues might come up in your conversations with your students.
They might, for instance, be concerned about their class schedule. They may be saying that they don’t really want to be in a particular course or that their workload seems more than they can handle. This is a good opportunity to encourage them to see their faculty advisors. If they need to be drop a course and add another, they need to do this as soon as possible, and faculty advisors are the people to see to start this process. While students have until the end of the next week to add a class, we know that students who wait this long often struggle in the class they add. They simply miss too much work right from the start. If your student is concerned that his or her schedule is too difficult, but wants to remain in his or her classes, a meeting with his or her faculty advisor is also an opportunity to learn more about the resources Denison has for academic support.
Students might also be experiencing homesickness or having difficulty adjusting to campus life. One way to help is to encourage them to look for ways to become involved. On Thursday, they will have the opportunity to participate in the Involvement Fair from 4-6 pm on the Academic Quad. This is where they can learn about the student groups on campus and how they can join them. Students who are having difficulty connecting to campus or finding a peer group will begin to feel more comfortable as they become more involved.
I am, of course, always available to meet with first-year students. Don’t hesitate to encourage your student to meet with me if I can help with these issues or with any others that arise.