New Student Timeline
The transition from high school to college is an important milestone in the life of your student.
While every student is different, feelings of nervousness, excitement, pressure, and success are quite common. The following timeline is designed to provide you with information about transitions that students commonly face during their first year of college. We recommend that parents and families take on a coaching or mentoring role and encourage students to make their own decisions and chart their own path.
You can use the information learned at orientation and from this website to refer your student back to available resources. Below is a guide to help you anticipate what your student may experience as the year progresses.
Late Spring-Early Summer
This is the time that your student has committed to coming to Purchase College. This will be the time that both you as the parent/family member and them as the student will have a lot of questions about the logistics of:
- Turning in all necessary documentation
- Registering for Orientation
- Paying deposits and other financial aid questions
- Applying for housing
A lot of important information will start coming to the student’s Purchase email address. Please ensure they get in the habit of checking this on a consistently basis.
As students move to campus and begin classes, they are faced with new opportunities to make their own choices, balance social and academic life, and experience new freedoms. Feelings of homesickness and the desire for frequent contact with family are common.
The Office of Residential and Student Life can help connect new and transfer students to campus through involvement programs and events. Students are also getting to know their roommates, making new friends on campus, adjusting to college policies and procedures, and finding their way around.
This tends to be a time when students incur a lot of expenses for items such as textbooks, school supplies, and room decorations/furnishings.
Classes are in full swing, and students are beginning to get feedback and grades on their assignments. Some may be surprised at the amount of work they have for their classes and may struggle with managing their time. Others will be disappointed about grades on their first exams or assignments. Roommate conflicts may also flare up at this time after the initial “honeymoon” phase is over.
In addition, class enrollment for spring is quickly approaching, and students will be making plans with their academic advisors. Some students might struggle with some addictive behaviors. Many students are already discussing their housing plans for next year.
Of course, life will still continue at home, and students will want to stay informed about what’s going on with their families.
As final exams approach, students may feel more stress about academics. This, combined with the onset of winter weather in New York, can leave some students feeling run down.
While they may be anxious for the semester to end, some students are excited about returning home and preparing for the holidays. However, financial strain because of holiday gifts, traveling costs, etc. could cause stress.
With fall semester finished, many students return home for winter break, and there may be concerns about how they will adjust to routines at home. For many, winter break is an opportunity to catch up on sleep and reconnect with old friends they haven’t seen in months.
They will also begin to receive their first semester grades and experience joy, disappointment, or relief. This could also bring about relationship separation anxiety from a significant other.
Students should strive to return from winter break with renewed energy for the semester ahead. A few students may feel emotional stress due to family issues that surfaced over the break or financial stress from the holidays.
This is a typical time for students to reassess their time management strategies and turn over a new leaf, if necessary. Students may also engage in more exploration about their majors or careers, changing their minds, or solidifying previous choices. Students will begin looking into campus leadership positions and involvement opportunities.
Also, students begin thinking about spring break, including making plans for travel, work, or catching up on coursework.
Spring break comes and goes, and many students start making plans for the summer, all in the midst of another set of midterms. Most students feel more confident with their time-management skills and experience less stress with their exams this time around. They will also be enrolling in classes for the fall and considering options for the summer.
Some students will have mixed feelings about leaving Purchase for the summer, and others will decide to stay to take classes and/or pursue summer work opportunities. Students may feel apprehensive about leaving their friendships and relationships they’ve established over the academic year.
As the spring semester ends, you are likely to be amazed at the changes in your student and all that your student has accomplished this year.