Parent to Parent

Members of the communications committee on the Parent & Family Connections Advisory Board spoke with campus partners to provide you information they feel you should know. Have additional questions, let us know! The Parent & Family Connections HelpLine is available Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. (EST), or email us anytime at parents@purdue.edu.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Exams. Peer pressure. Personal issues. Roommates. Mountains of homework. Transitioning from child to adult. Sometimes it’s all too much. This is why Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the mental health unit for Purdue University, is there to help. Staff therapists at CAPS provide guidance and self-help information on issues ranging from difficult relationships and homesickness to struggles with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and more.

Students who reach out to CAPS can expect:

Therapists also host regular, weekly consultation hours during the fall and spring semesters at Purdue University cultural centers.

No student should face emotional issues alone—be sure your child knows about CAPS.

Safety

Purdue University has one of the safest campuses in the Big 10, which is great news for students and parents! However, no one is exempt from safety-related concerns. According to the Purdue Police Department, the most common safety issues facing young men and women on and off campus are:

  • Theft – Bikes, money, books, laptops, phones and more: if they aren’t locked up or put away, they will most likely be someone else’s belongings in no time flat. Students need to be vigilant about personal items and be sure to lock their door when they leave their room; they don’t live at home anymore!
  • Alcohol – For some students, freedom from home means a time for experimentation. Temptation in the form of alcohol is a challenge at most universities—Purdue included.
    • Talk to your student about responsible drinking- this guide from the Student Wellness Office may help!
  • Sexual Assault – To avoid a sexual situation that is not mutually agreed upon, students need to be vigilant about their surroundings. Tips on “dating smart,” “partying smart” and much more can be found at Prevention and Safety Tips. Please visit this page and discuss the information with your student.

Supporting and Connecting with Your Student

College gives your child an opportunity to become independent and soar! At the same time, parents sometimes find themselves in the position of balancing their emotions of wanting to comfort their students with the realization that growth only comes from allowing mistakes.

You aren’t alone with the balancing act! A few Purdue parents have offered the guidance below:

  • Encourage, congratulate, listen to and support them, sharing advice and wisdom when your student needs it.
  • Resist the urge to fix their problems.  Encourage them to use the campus resources Purdue has available for them.
  • Maintain realistic communication expectations and remain flexible, understanding your student has limited time due to new academic pressures.
    • This might be the first time that your student is away for an extended period of time. Plan ahead and talk with them about the best way to stay in touch.
    • Let your student know that you’d like to hear from them. Suggest texting or instant messaging for their convenience.
    • If you don’t hear from your student often, avoid feeling hurt but instead celebrate the growing independence you had hoped for.
  • Send cards and packages. There’s nothing like the feeling of getting something in your mailbox. This is true for ALL students, not just freshman!
  • Plan a visit with your student. Purdue offers several opportunities with Family Weekend, Spring Fest and various sporting events.

Withdrawing From a Class

Withdrawing from a college class is not the same thing as dropping a class. Dropping occurs in the first few days of the semester, usually when students determine the class is at the wrong level, is inappropriate, of no interest to them or for other similar reasons. Classes dropped at the beginning of the term generally do not show up on the student’s permanent record. 

Withdrawing occurs later in the semester for reasons such as poor academic performance or prolonged illness making it difficult to attend class. Withdrawals usually result in a “W” appearing on the student’s transcript and have no effect on the student’s GPA.

Before students consider withdrawing from classes, they should be encouraged to:

  • Take advantage of resources available to them through The Academic Success Center.
  • Speak with professors, express concerns and find out how they are truly doing in the class.
  • Make appointments with their academic advisors to understand options and the impact withdrawing may have on their plan of study.

Parents can be valuable resources when students are having academic challenges. Listen to your son or daughter’s concerns and be realistic about whether your student will be able to make sufficient changes to pass a particular course.

If your student is considering a withdraw, be sure to look at the Add/Drop Deadlines in order to make an informed and timely decision.

If withdrawal is a strong consideration, encourage your student to reach out to the Office of the Dean of Students for guidance and important dates of interest.

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