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Family & Supporters

Register of Family Orientation


FAMILY & SUPPORTER INFORMATION


Supporting your student as they begin their post-secondary journey can seem like a mountain; but we are here to help make it more of a molehill! We are excited to welcome your student to join our campus community of achievers, partners, explorers, innovators, and their new home away from home.

Achieving success in university takes a lot of hard work but, like riding a teeter-totter, it’s so much easier when students are not alone. Our broad range of free programs and services will help your student adjust to campus life and teach them the skills required to achieve success as a student, and wherever life takes them next.

SOME OF KEY SUPPORTS & SERVICES: 

 

SUPPORTING YOUR STUDENT

 

As a Family member or supporter, you play an important role in your student’s success at university. While it's important to give them independence, your student may need your support from time to time. Here is a semester timeline, which includes tips on how to support your students during potentially stressful points in the semester.

SEPTEMBER 

The first month of the semester is a significant transition for students. Often, they are adjusting to a new physical environment, with new expectations, and people. The U of R Orientation offers a variety of programming specifically designed to assist with this transition.

What can you do?

The first few weeks are very busy with students navigating classes and making new friends. Your student might not reach out immediately – and that is okay! When you do talk to your student, encourage them to attend class lectures, participate in campus social activities, and discover support services. Is your student living in campus housing? Encourage them to participate in the many housing activities. Send them a small care package to help them feel connected to their support system.

TIP: Encourage your student to attend our “Conquering Your First Semester” workshop. By attending this workshop early in the semester, students can discover tools and tricks to help them prepare for the coming months.

OCTOBER

At this point, the academic term typically picks up and students may be experiencing the due dates for some of their first assignments and midterms. It is always important for access support services. Students with accommodation requirements are encouraged to register prior to the start of university with our Centre for Accessibility (CSA). By October, it is recommended that they be already working with the CSA and their professors to ensure their accommodations are in place prior to any assignments and exams being due. 

What can you do?

Some students might feel the need to handle the first-year transition on their own and that is okay. Do not be afraid to ask questions – sometimes just letting them know that you are open to listening when they are ready, is all they need to know. It might even encourage healthy communication between both parties.

TIP: Professors often offer “office hours,” which consists of time set aside each week, for student meetings and inquiries. Students who are struggling with course concepts or assignments are always welcome and encouraged to utilize office hours or to set-up separate times with their professors for assistance.

NOVEMBER

The semester at this point begins to intensify as midterms occur and papers become due. It is important for students to continue to keep up with their course work so that they do not fall behind. Part of this will be for student to reflect and recognize when they are struggling and seek help. By proactively seeking assistance, professors and staff can then ensure they are offering the required support.

What can you do?

Ask questions and refer your student to campus resources, such as the Student Success Centre, and let them find the solutions or make contact with services. While you student still needs your support, it is important to allow them to take the lead in solving problems and overcoming barriers. These skills are incredibly important for future success in all areas of their life.

TIP: Is your student living on campus? Encourage them to create “power hour” study times with friends and classmates. There is empowerment through collective experiences and support. Being surrounded by people who are experiencing the same thing generates solidarity. Plus, maybe they will learn a new study technique!

DECEMBER

Your student is now entering the final weeks of class and will begin “exam season.” Students at this point can allow certain aspects of their well-being slide because of the number of time-sensitive requirements of their classes. The first semester can be a steep learning curve and it is important that students find a balance between academic demands and their mental and physical health.

What can you do?

Check in with your student. Encourage them to make time to recharge between study periods. Remind them that their value extends beyond their final grades – the marks that they receive do not define them as a person. Some failure, whether it be an exam or a class, is normal; it is how we grow as human beings.

JANUARY

Participating in the campus community ensures that students find a balance between school and their well-being, in addition to finding more enjoyment in their university experience. The U of R offers lots of opportunities for students to get involved. Now that they have a full semester under their belt, now is a great time to begin slowly adding extracurriculars into their schedule.

What can you do?

Celebrate, with your student, their accomplishments from the first semester. This may help when they are feeling frustrated, to keep them focused on the bigger goals. Part of this is helping your student reflect on their performance. Did they receive the grades that they wanted? What perhaps contributed to challenges and failures? How can they set new goals, create new strategies, and utilize supports more effectively for success? This is a way for them to begin to be self-reflective and build resilience.

TIP: Is your student planning on participating in the Co-operative Education Program? Encourage them to book a meeting with their co-op academic coordinators to begin discovering the program structure and requirements. *

*NOTE: Not every faculty offers a co-op program. Some programs offer other experiential learning opportunities that are already built into the program. Students should check with their faculty and academic advisor to see what is available for them.

FEBRUARY

Long winter months, combined with academic demands, social pressures, and new surroundings can place strain on student’s mental health. It is normal for students to experience some anxiety during their transition to university, but it is important for students to recognize when they are struggling and seek assistance. The U of R offers FREE counselling services to all students.

What can you do?

There will likely be times when your student will be overwhelmed by moments of combined failure – a failed test, ended relationship, or shrunken laundry all within the same day – and turn to you for comfort. Tears and frustrations will be expressed, but then after the conversation, the student returns to their routine, feeling renewed by your support. This relief might not be visible to you immediately and you inherit their worry. Be patient with this type of role; being a good listener can at times be the most supportive role that you can play. Trust that they will find their way or reach out if they need more support from you.

MARCH

Around this time, students begin to be able building their course schedule for the fall of their second year. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic advising teams to plan their courses and ensure that they are following sequencing plans. Students are encouraged to check their time ticket in UR Self Service to discover the exact date they are eligible to register in courses.

What can you do?

Encourage your student to use the supports and available to them on campus. Your student’s success is our first priority, and we are here to help; but it is their responsibility to seek assistance.

TIP: Many of our faculties offer drop-in times each week. We also have a central academic advising unit that offers daily drop-in times. Encourage your student to utilize these drop-in times if they have quick or urgent questions!

APRIL

The end of the school year is always a good time for reflection. Did your student enjoy their first year? Did the adjustments that they made from the first to the second semester assist in their success? Will they make additional adjustments for next year? Will they continue in their program or seek new options?

What can you do?

Prepare for the return of your student. You will likely notice some changes – especially if your student has not been home in a while. These changes are normal as attending university is meant to bring about changes in their social and personal outlook. An open mind can help you and your student adjust to the new adult that they are becoming. University is a transformational process.