Establishing Good Habits

We asked parents of rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors to think back to their student’s freshmen year and what they wish they had known.  Their advice is below.


Time management is important here and will be throughout college.

Don’t underestimate the transition from high school to college.  High school is packed from 7am to late at night with classes, sports, homework, every day.  College schedule could look like classes on Monday from 9-12 and Tuesday from 3-5.  The first few months can be challenging as the kids try to figure out what to do with their new found free time, better understand their workload and navigate the social intricacies of college.

They need to be organized with their time and set aside specific study time so they can take advantage of social opportunities.

A given 3 or 4 credit hour class might require 3 hours of studying/homework.  Plan wisely.

After a couple of weeks of classes try encourage your son/daughter to get into a rhythm so that they can determine how much “free” time they are comfortable with and how much time they need to dedicate to studying and where. Suggest they find a favorite place that has the right amount of (or lack of) stimulus so that they won’t be distracted and can get things done.

Set up routine study times for your classes. Studying along the way and making decent grades takes some of the pressure off for the inevitable exam “cram time.”  Also, “cram time” and studying harder than you have ever had to study before is okay and you are surrounded by like-minded students!

Go to class!!!! Be sure to know what the teacher’s policy is on missing class even when you are sick!


[Editorial note:  The comments have been minimally edited and grouped together for coherence.  In come cases, comments were combined with others.  When we had parents responding with the same advice, we repeated it for emphasis.  In the event a parent offered advice that ran counter to what Wake Forest advises, it was not included.  These comments represent the views of the parent commentators, not the views of the Office of Family Engagement (formerly Parent Programs office) or Wake Forest.]