Welcome to the Student Counseling Services web page for parents!
The university years are an exciting time for students, a time of significant change for both students and their families. In addition to preparing for a professional career, students face numerous challenges and opportunities to learn about themselves and the world around them. For the next few years, students will need to make important life decisions, develop their personal and professional identities, interests and values, and evolve from adolescence to adulthood. This page is intended to assist new students and their parents in anticipating, discussing, and successfully navigating the university years.
Warning signs that your child may be having trouble
For many young adults, this is the first time in an entirely new environment where they are away from everything that is familiar to them – friends, family, home, and community. Research reflects that 2/3 of the students who feel overwhelmed and stressed never tell anyone and never seek help. Maintaining regular communication is one way in which you can be enormously helpful to your child. When you talk with your child, take note if they mention:
- Being sad most or all of the time
- Feeling life has no meaning, or there is no hope for the future
- No longer enjoying things they once liked to do
- Sleeping a lot more than usual, waking up often, or having trouble falling asleep
- Excessive drinking or partying
- Loss of appetite, or developing odd eating or exercise habits
- Having trouble concentrating
- Being tired all of the time
- Having low self-confidence
- Thinking about death and/or suicide
If your child experiences any of these signs, please don’t assume it is a phase she or he will outgrow. Feeling stressed or sad for weeks and months can indicate more than just difficulty adjusting to life’s changes. Encourage your child to get help from Student Counseling Services (SCS).
How can SCS help your child?
SCS offers confidential services for currently enrolled students at Tarleton State University. This fee has already been paid for through your student’s tuition and fees. We offer an array of programs and services that facilitate and enhance your child’s academic success and emotional well-being. For more information on our services, please look at our services page.
Campus Assessment, Response and Evaluation (CARE) Team
The VA Tech tragedy reminded and compelled us to remain vigilant regarding the safety and mental health status of our students. To this end, Tarleton took a deliberate effort to review its processes and procedures pertaining to the identification and referral of students of concern (defined as students who may be at risk of harm to self or others). The result was theCampus Assessment, Response and Evaluation (CARE) Team. CARE is a team of university staff and faculty. CARE was created so that anyone who is concerned about a student (including parents), can refer them quickly and efficiently. CARE was created to provide a proactive and caring way to prevent tragedies like the one that occurred in Virginia Tech. Confidentiality is maintained by all members of the team.
Learn more about CARE Team and how to refer a student that you may be concerned about.
How can the SCS help parents?
Student Counseling Services can provide consultation services for parents. We are glad to answer any questions that you may have about our services, and hear your concerns about your child. It will not be possible to know if your child is seeking our services, since we can neither confirm nor deny that any student is receiving our services. When you call, the administrative assistant will take your number and someone will return your call as soon as possible. Feel free to call and talk about your concerns regarding your child.
Some additional information we thought you would like
Adjusting to Life at Tarleton:
- Socially: the people who are apt to make the best adjustment to university life are the ones who get out of their residence hall rooms, meet other people and get involved with interesting activities in addition to classroom work and study.
- Home for the weekend: Students who go home every weekend and students who don’t get involved in extra-curricular activities tend, on average, to drop out of school more frequently and to be less satisfied with college in general. Getting involved on campus tends to be associated with greater satisfaction and higher retention. Every office in the Division of Student Engagement & Success is ready and able to assist your student in determining how to translate her or his interests into activities at the university.
- Being informed: Keep your child informed about what is going on at home. Keep in mind that some students can be really hurt and resentful about being protected from unhappy news, like a grandmother’s illness or the death of a pet.
Academic challenges, or what it might be helpful for you to know
- Time management: In high school, most students spend nearly 35 hours each week in class. In college, they may spend 12 – 17 hours in class. Some days, they may not even have any classes. These periods of non-class time during the day (and evening) can easily be spent in a variety of non-academic activities. Many students are not aware of the general guideline that, for every hour of class time, a student should spend approximately two hours studying and completing assignments and projects. In order to perform well academically and also have time for socializing, exercising, and leisure activity, both time management and organizational skills are critical. Student Counseling Services offers workshops and individual counseling, which address issues of time management, effective decision-making and other personal issues.
- Feeling overwhelmed by course work: The constant studying for quizzes and exams, reading assignments, completing projects and papers and other responsibilities can be overwhelming, and can sometimes lead to procrastination. Procrastination often worsens the problem. Some students reveal perfectionist tendencies, or unrealistically high self-expectations, which can further immobilize their efforts, add to their discouragement and impede their effectiveness. These issues are frequently seen in the university student population and may be discussed with counselors at the SCS.
- Remember: Check with Career Services & Academic Advising for help with choosing majors and picking classes.
Some additional reading resources
- Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money. Helen E. Johnson and Christine Schelhas-Miller, 2000.
- How to Survive and Thrive in an Empty Nest: Reclaiming Your Life When Your Children Have Grown. Robert H. Lauer and Jeanette C. Lauer, 1999.
- When Your Kid Goes to College: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Carol Barkin, 1999.
- Almost Grown: Launching Your Child from High School to College. Patricia Pasick, 1998.
- Empty Nest, Full Heart: The Journey from Home to College. Andrea Van Steenhouse and Johanna Parker, 1998.