September 1, 2021

Going to college presents a huge shift in daily life and responsibilities for students.

Navigating this change can be challenging, but there are plenty of resources to help on-campus. This is the first time many students have complete control over what to eat, their schedules, and how to spend their time–feeling overwhelmed is normal. How can students prepare and parents help out?

You are not alone.

No matter what you are experiencing on campus, there are resources to help you. Often, students can get free counseling services at the on-campus counseling center and free testing and resources at the health center. If they’re feeling unsure about their major or career choice, student advisors, dean associates for their major, and career counselors can all help guide them through it. If the worry is with being in a dorm for the first time, don’t worry. Resident Assistants will try to make students feel comfortable in the first week with dorm events, get-togethers and chats.

Get involved!

Colleges and universities offer plenty of avenues for their incoming freshmen to find like-minded peers. Not only are there clubs, sororities, fraternities, and sports teams, campus groups are excellent places to start for students coming into their own. Campuses offer groups for LGBTQ youth and allies, Christian ministries, and Hillel International for students wanting to meet others with similar interests.

Parents, don’t panic!

Ultimately, you are there to help guide your child on this journey, but there are ways to help without being overbearing. Remember, this is the time for your children to shine, and they need some space to grow. It all comes down to understanding when to intervene. While they will not need your help for everything, there are some issues where it may be best to get involved. If you suspect that there is a serious issue, like an ongoing disease or mental crisis, absolutely help. For minor issues, your student is going to want an ear to listen instead of an immediate solution.

Finding your way in college can be daunting, but making use of the programs, activities, and helpful staff can make a huge difference. Don’t be afraid to lean on your parents and peers for extra support. On-campus or off-campus, you are not alone on this journey.

We've put together tips and tricks prepared by our college interns who have recent experience with the college planning process. Click each link below to find out more.

A Life Full of Firsts – Tips for preparing your child for college life.

Time to Go to College – When it comes to choosing a college, so many factors are involved that it seems like there couldn’t possibly be any right answer.

Exploring College with a TourThere are several different types of tours depending on the circumstances. Find out which apply to your child.

ACT/SAT Scores: Do They Still Matter?The ACT and SAT are the foundations of college applications but understanding how they are important, how to prepare for them, and what to do afterwards can be confusing, especially for first-time college students.

Start Saving!Learn more about the two qualified tuition plans available to Louisiana parents with children entering school.

What's a FASFA? – The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is how the federal government determines if a student is in need of financial aid for college.

All About TOPSLearn more about the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students from the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Louisiana College Guide – A listing of four-year, two-year, and vocational/training schools located in Louisiana. 

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