Asking open-ended questions (rather than closed questions that can be answered with a “yes,” “no,” or “fine”) can sometimes help. Some examples are:
“What is your most difficult class this semester and what are you doing to do well in that course?”
“Tell me about one out-of-class activity or club you have gone to.”
“What is your next assignment and when is it due? What is your plan to complete it?”
“How do you need/want me to help you?” (If your student is upset or unloading a problem on your shoulder or ear.)
To learn more about your student’s daily activities:
Call (but not too often)
Send occasional emails, text messages, etc. (but not too often)
Send your student a care package – (s)he can never get enough food and goodies that remind him/her of home.
Let them know you are proud of him/her.
We encourage students to make that phone call as they learn independence. We hope you will prod them so they don’t wait until it’s too late. Whether it’s a financial concern, academic concern, or anything that is causing your student difficulty, please let him/her know (s)he can ALWAYS ask us. Remind him/her to visit the Office of Student Services, 180 Statler Hall, if he/she needs help with anything.
Encourage your student to get involved in an activity. There are hundreds of clubs university-wide (17 in the School of Hotel Administration). The university also offers intramural sports; club sports; classes in dance, music, and theater; outdoor education programs such as rock climbing, hiking, and canoe trips; and much more. Involvement in a program or activity outside of the classroom will provide your student opportunities to be in touch with others who are interested in similar activities. Be mindful, however, that it’s important to keep a balance between coursework and extracurricular activities.