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11 Things to Say to Your College Student

by Lexie Hutson, Bergstrom Hall and Madelaine-Lorraine Hall Director

Hearing from you is the best care package you can send.

  1.  “It’s ok to screw up.” The toughest failures to fight through are the best ways to learn. Don’t let your student fear failure (and disappointing you); it will only keep them from experiencing things that will help them grow into strong adults. 
  2. “Major in something you’re passionate about.” Students will struggle to find success if they’re not enjoying what they’re learning. Focus less on future paychecks and more on something worth working toward for the rest of their lives.
  3.  “You are not allowed to have a single room or switch roommates.” Learning to live with someone they don’t automatically click with will force them to work at relationships. And they’ll learn how to interact with difficult people they’ll be stuck working with in the future. 
  4.  “Live life for today.” College is more than just a means to get to the future. Today is the youngest they will ever be; let them enjoy their youth. 
  5.  “You are a strong person.” Encourage them to be themselves and assure them that they have the ability to be awesome. Believing in themselves is the first step to finding their success. 
  6.  “Make friends.” Shutting themselves off will make them unapproachable and disconnected. Encourage them to share some love and become close to someone they didn’t previously know. 
  7. “You can handle this on your own.” Empower them to fight real-world battles in a more protected environment than the actual real world. They’ll never know how to stand up for themselves if you call the school for them. 
  8.  “Trying your best is all that matters.” A hard-won “C” is more valuable than an “A” that’s easily handed to them. It’s less about perfection and more about dedication. 
  9.  “Call me.” Establish communication expectations and give them the responsibility of maintaining valuable relationships. 
  10.  “Ask for help.” If they can’t ask for help when they need it, they will judge others who do. Teach them to utilize the endless resources available to them. 
  11.  “I love you.” Young people don’t always say it back, but they always need to hear. Ignore their angst and keep saying it.  
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