Check In With Your Student Throughout the Year

Suggested Topics For Discussion between parent & Student

We encourage parents to maintain communication with their student throughout the year. See the list of questions and topics below to discuss with your student based on the time of year.


  • As the summer winds down, students should be preparing for the upcoming year. If your student will be a freshman, take some time to discuss what you both learned at Orientation and how you can use this information to have a successful freshman year. Help your student look at fall classes and discuss a weekly schedule to help manage classes, studying, work and social activities.
  • For returning students, take time to help them assess the past year and prepare for the coming year. Encourage them to think about participating in an internship or studying abroad.


  • August is a very important time of the year. Students should take time to settle into their new classes and make sure they get the books and supplies they need to succeed during this semester in college.

  • College students experience much greater freedom than in high school. However, they are also held more accountable for their actions and decisions. Rarely does a professor ask twice for assignments or question absences. With an increased opportunity for distractions, time management becomes more important. Encourage your student to be responsible for his or her education. There is no better time than now to get your student off to a good start.


  • Students often utilize the month of September to explore campus and get involved. Joining clubs and organizations looks great on a resume and can build great friendships that will last a lifetime. The University of Memphis currently has more than 180 Registered Student Organizations (RSO) and the numbers are growing every day.

  • Your student needs ongoing encouragement as he or she goes through the college experience. As a parent, you know your student better than professors, peers or college staff, and you know his or her limitations. You are often in the best position to encourage and support behaviors


  • In October, students begin experiencing exciting and challenging situations that they need to learn to handle on their own. As a parent, try to avoid rushing in; instead, think of the college experience as your student's job. Offer support, answer questions and point him or her toward the right resources. Parents should use the opportunity to help their student become more independent.


  • By November, exams and papers may begin piling up. Students can sometimes acquire poor eating or sleeping habits, increased stress and other factors that may require the help of Student Health Services. Keep in mind that an active mind needs a healthy body, so encourage your student to find ways of relieving stress, keeping active and staying healthy while at college.

  • Remember, there are people at the UofM who want to help. Parents and students should talk about challenges that come up.


  • December can be very stressful for students as the semester comes to a close. If students need help, they should look to those who have experience with tests, be it their parents, brothers and sisters who have taken the same class, friends, or a tutor.

  • The University has a dedicated staff of advisors who will do everything they can to help with scheduling, registration, and academic issues.

  • You and your student may feel excited and anxious. It is important to remember that students keep their own schedule at school. This may conflict with parental expectations about family activities, so it is helpful to discuss these expectations prior to your student returning home.


  • Many students think of January as a new beginning, a time to improve upon the previous semester. Your student's new freedom will also require new responsibilities, especially when it comes to managing finances.

  • Talk with your student about these responsibilities often. Having a checking account or credit card may be a completely new experience for your student. You may want to have a conversation about budgeting expenses, spending habits and paying for their education.


  • In February, students will now be a month into the second semester of the year. If your student is unhappy with any of his or her courses and is considering dropping a class, be sure this is done by the deadline. Please visit www.memphis.edu/registrar for dates and deadlines.

  • If students joined any clubs or organizations in the fall, they may wish to rejoin that club this semester. If a particular club wasn't right for the student, encourage him or her to look around for other clubs that the UofM has to offer.


  • The semester is now midway through and this is often a very exciting and busy time for students. Many plan to go away for spring break. Parents should remind students to be safe while having fun. Keep in touch with those they travel with and keep in mind that classes will resume after break.

  • Remind your student that, while spring is a time for much social activity, balance is also important.


  • Your student's year is coming to an end. This is the most important time for students, as they prepare for final exams. The term is drawing to a close which means your student may soon be coming home for summer break.

  • After students receive their grades, they should ask themselves if they are happy with their academic performance. The semester break is a great time to assess their performance, identifying areas for possible improvement.


  • The UofM offers a wide range of classes for students who are interested in getting ahead of the game. Taking a summer class is a great way for students to keep their academic skills sharp. Most classes last four to six weeks.

  • Although some students may find the rigorous pace of summer classes intimidating, the rewards of being closer to graduation can make it worth the extra effort.


  • The time to plan for the future is now. If your student did not do as well academically as he or she had hoped to do during finals, encourage your student to evaluate the year. Look for ways they can improve next year.

  • Students should be proud of their accomplishments and use them to motivate themselves as they continue their college career.