Families & Visitors<< Back to October 2012 Newsletter
Getting into the Midterm Mindset
It’s happening. Midterm madness is almost here! Your student is likely gearing up to demonstrate her knowledge – or lack thereof – on her first set of midterms of the year. You can be more helpful in this process than you think, no matter whether you live near or far.
Be Supportive. When talking with your student over the next few weeks, try to remember that she may be stressed up to her eyeballs. Midterms can cause many students to panic. Reassure her that you just want her to do the best she can and remind her to use her resources. If she is struggling, she shouldn’t hesitate to contact her professors for help or to get some extra tutoring on campus.
Send Some Encouragement. Now’s a great time to put a little something in the mail to let your student know you’re thinking about him. A bit of home cooking or a humorous card will do the trick!
Don’t Take Things Personally. If your student seems unaware of things happening with your family or is cutting conversations short, it most likely is due to feelings of being overwhelmed. Many midterms are given as take home exams, which take a great deal of time to complete. For those happening in class, students are often expected to know everything they’ve learned up until this point in the semester. Some classes only offer two opportunities for assessment – midterms and finals. So, you can imagine the pressure she might be feeling to do well.
Encourage Healthy Eating and Sleeping Habits. The reminders are important. Make sure to gently remind your student to eat well and to get plenty of sleep, especially if he wants to be at his best for midterms. A tired student doesn’t remember things very well!
Don’t Add Undue Burdens. Now’s probably not the time to tell your student that she needs to get a job over winter break to help with finances or that her younger sister is struggling with a bully at school. Consider waiting until midterms are over to let her know about the things she can’t control – especially if there isn’t anything she can do right at the moment to help anyway.
Most importantly, just be ready. Ready to support, ready to talk or ready to back off just a little to offer your student space to do as well as he can. Once midterms are over, everyone can take a deep breath and get back on track. Your support will mean a great deal to your student during this hectic time.