The weather, the academic cycle, and even the athletic teams can affect your student's temperament and productivity as the year goes by. Some of the issues that are likely to affect students this time of year are listed below.
- During the first two weeks of May, panic about finals and completing class projects
- Emotions arise about leaving friends and moving out of the room and hall where so much has happened during the past nine months
- Frustration, anxiety about sorting, packing, and cleaning in preparation for moving out
- For seniors, ambivalent feelings. Joy and pride about graduation; relief that pressure is off; sadness that college is done; excitement about finally reaching adulthood; anxiety about finding or beginning a job; concern about “what’s next?”
- For graduates who do not already have jobs, this can be a trying time. They may question their choice of majors and worry about beginning to pay back student loans.
This time of year, college seniors are bombarded with the question, "What will you do now?" This is a question that seems innocuous to the person asking, but it becomes intensely annoying to the graduate, who hears it from faculty, friends, family, and passing acquaintances. Rather than ask about career plans, you might ask, “Are you planning to stay in the Twin Cities, or will you be moving somewhere else?” If you want to be more philosophical, you could ask, “What’s the most important thing you learned in college?” or “If you had it to do all over, would you change anything about your college experience?”
When students return home for the summer, the whole family will undergo adjustments. Parents and siblings have made changes during the year that the student doesn’t fully understand. Old family patterns will be tested, and some may no longer work. Talk to your student about use of the car and about hours you expect him or her to be home for meals or for the night. Students may be troubled about relationships with high school friends—changes during the past year make old friendships difficult to maintain. Students may also spend considerable time with long-distance friendships through phone calls, e-mail, or letters.
Students who attend May session classes will quickly be immersed in coursework. This is a short session with contracted class time and expanded study requirements.