Supporting Your Student

As college students learn to take responsibility for their own lives and balance the demands of classes, work and other activities, they often feel overwhelmed. Many students experience higher levels of stress at the end of the semester, especially around final exam time. You can provide support to your student in the following ways:

Help your student recognize when stress is building. For many students, acknowledging the presence of stress will help guide them on the path to minimizing anxiety. There are various resources on the UT Dallas campus that can aide with this process, including the Student Counseling Center. The center offers a series of free workshops on topics ranging from overcoming procrastination, to stress management, to coping with job interview jitters. The "S4" workshops are open to all students. Many departments also offer specialized tutoring, and if your student lives on campus, a Peer Advisor can be a great resource for assistance, too.

Try to minimize the pressure you place on your student’s success. Listen when your student vents and try to be empathetic. Avoid statements like "We have spent a lot of money and don’t want to see you fail," or "You’ve always made perfect grades before; we are expecting great things from you." Many students are as driven to make their parents proud as they are to personally succeed. If they fear letting you down, this can add extra negative pressure.

Remind your student to stay healthy. Eating right, getting enough sleep and adding plenty of exercise are positive ways to help reduce stress. The Activity Center offers a place for students to get a great workout, and the Student Wellness Center offers advice about general nutrition and sleep issues.

Help your student organize their time wisely. When events, tests and assignments are forgotten, stress can become unbearable. Help your student create a list of activities (i.e. class times, study sessions, exam dates, or exercise), ranking them by priority and placing them on a calendar. It is a great way to help keep them from forgetting something crucial.

In partnership with families, UT Dallas faculty and staff are committed to helping students succeed and develop healthy approaches to handling stress.



Return to Comet Families - April 2012