Parents of First Year Students

AUGUST

• Everything is new and a bit unknown. Students should begin checking their Baylor email daily, as well as read the Welcome, New BICers! Blackboard site in preparation of their first day of class.

• While the students may be a little confused the first week about small groups and large groups, they will learn their way around quickly.

• They will begin reading the New York Times and primary texts in their BIC courses from the beginning of class. This may be a new experience for them and take some time to learn the skill.

• The BIC has Peer Instructors (PIs) assigned to World Cultures I. The PIs are upper-class BIC students whose sole purpose is provide freshmen with help. Encourage your student to talk to their PI and their professor if they are having difficulty.

• If your student has not decided upon a degree or major, understand that this is completely normal. Encourage them to visit the Baylor Career Counseling Center where trained counselors will help them investigate their options.

Events: BIC KickOff

SEPTEMBER

• Students are realizing the differences between high school and college. They are learning that they must check their syllabus on their own for assignments, due dates, tests, etc.

• They are also learning that simple memorization will not meet the requirements of college courses. They must read, understand, analyze, and prepare for class each day.

• Encourage your student to manage their time effectively. Procrastination leads to stress and chaos.

• Students are also beginning academic advisement appointments to plan their spring schedules. Depending on their courses and degree plan, most students will take 14-16 hours in their spring semester.

• Advisement time usually leads to reevaluation of their degree and major. Over 50% of college students change their major, so do not be surprised if your student mentions this possibility. Understand that your student's advisor(s) will work with your student to insure the best possible course for them. Many factors contribute to creating a schedule during the first year, but advisors always have graduation in mind.

Events:
Labor Day
World Cultures I Field Trip
Advisement begins

OCTOBER

• Students are fully realizing the transitions of college life. Remind them that this is a new level of expectations, which are always difficult, but rewarding.

• Mid-term exams are during this month. In order to avoid stressful stressful study sessions like 'cramming' or 'pulling all-nighters,' encourage your student to study during the week leading up to the exam.

• Remind your student to get rest and eat healthy snacks to maintain their health and memory during this time. They remember more of the information than they realize.

Events:
Parents Weekend
Fall Break

NOVEMBER

• The end of the semester is close-approaching and students are hurriedly finishing projects and papers.

• Many students catch colds during this time because of the changing weather and lack of good sleep. Remind your student to sleep, eat well, and take medicine if they are ill. Flu shots are available and encouraged for all Baylor students. Click here for the Baylor Health Center.

• If they are sick and miss class, they should email their professor, turn in any assignments due, and ask for anything missed. While professors don't need details about their illness, they do need to know that the student was ill.

• If a student misses class for any reason, it is considered an absence. Illness in which a student has received a doctor's note is considered an excused absence and the student will be allowed to make up work that has been missed.

Events:
Homecoming
Thanksgiving Holidays

DECEMBER

• Final exams are soon after students return from Thanksgiving.

• As they receive their final grades, students again may reconsider their course of study. Many times, students may learn of majors and departments in their first semester which may interest them. Again, do not be surprised if their plans change. They are learning to match their strengths with their interests.

Events:
Last Day of Classes
Final Exams
Winter Break

JANUARY

• Students are better prepared for this semester and feel more confident in their understanding of college.

• Students are now faced with the decision of whether or not to join a fraternity or sorority. This can be a wonderful opportunity for students to rise to leadership positions, make amazing connections, and participate in life-changing service activities. Pledging does require a time commitment and this should be taken into consideration in regards to courses and work load.

• Encourage your student to evaluate the whole picture of their semester to insure that they are prioritizing their responsibilities. This will allow them to balance their classes and activities effectively.

Events:
First Day of Classes

FEBRUARY

• Students should focus on managing their time to accommodate increasing demands. Encourage them to plan their assignments for the semester from the beginning, start studying for upcoming midterms, as well as set aside some time for fun!

• Advisement for summer and fall courses begins this month. Students again may reevaluate their academic plans.

• Discuss the possibility of your students taking summer school either at Baylor or at a community college. Many students find it helps to remain connected to their academic pursuits through the summer so they don't "get out of the swing of things."

MARCH

• This is a hectic month filled with midterms, advisement, and Spring Break.

• Students will be on a mental and emotional rollercoaster of focusing on exams, preparing for Spring Break, and gearing up for the rest of the semester.

Events:
Spring Break

APRIL

• Students will be finalizing plans for the summer which may include registering for summer school, internships, jobs, or arranging visits to their friends' homes.

• Encourage your student to be proactive in their summer plans so they can explore their options and take advantage of great opportunities.

Events:
Easter Break

MAY

• Final exams close the academic year as students begin to pack for the trip home for the summer.

• Students will be excited to complete their first year of college, but sad that they must leave their friends they've seen almost everyday for the past nine months.

• Students may also become anxious about their sophomore year courses. They may have spoken to some upperclassmen who have told them how difficult the classes will be. Calm your student's fears by explaining that each year in college is like each year in high school. The courses are more demanding because they challenge the student to intellectually mature. Remind them that their first-year courses seemed challenging when they began, but they learned to meet the challenge, and will do the same over the course of their college career.

• Move-out day is the final day of exams. All students living on campus are expected to move all their belongings off of the premises.

Events:
Last Day of Classes
Final Exams
Move-out Day