The University of Arizona

CatPulse Wednesday: UA Families Offer Their Best Advice for New Wildcat Families

Even with the abundance of college data and articles that are available today, it’s nice to hear information right from the source. Last month, we asked 300 University of Arizona parents to offer their best tips and advice for new Wildcat families. Here’s what they had to say:

Stay connected with your students

“Communicate, even when they don't. Learning Snapchat has been great!”

“Just keep in close contact with your student without intruding on their independence.”

Virtually all UA families agreed it was important to maintain contact and communicate with their students. Whether it was just to check in on their student’s day or letting their Wildcats know they were thinking of them, a phone call or video chat went a long way in maintaining a healthy relationship.

Encourage your students to get involved

“Encourage your child to try new clubs, jobs, and internships to get the full UA experience.”

“Get involved with clubs, sororities, fraternities, sports, etc. to make the school feel smaller.”

College can be a difficult transition for students, especially for those who are homesick and not used to being away from their friends and families. According to UA parents, it’s important for families to encourage their students to meet new people and make connections with like-minded individuals in these times.

Did you know: At the UA, there are 637 different student clubs that Wildcats can be a part of.

Give students their space

Allow your student to be independent but stay available to them so they feel they can talk to you about their concerns.”

“Give your student room to grow and learn, but stay informed.”

College is prime time for “adulting”. For many college students, it’s their first time living on their own. Many UA families learned that problems and difficulties will arise, but these are merely opportunities for students to grow.

Visit the campus

“Make sure they take advantage of all the special programs that the U of A offers to family members. And when visiting your student explore Tucson, it is a beautiful area.”

“If possible, come for Family Weekend and participate in the activities, especially during freshman year.  It really helps you, as parents, to feel connected to the university and take part in the school spirit over that weekend.”

Many families expressed that visiting the UA campus can be helpful because it acclimates families to the different resources available for students. It is also an opportunity to catch up with students, enjoy the great year-round weather in Tucson, and catch a UA sports game!

This year, UA’s Family Weekend, hosted by Parent & Family Programs, will occur from October 13-15.  For more information about the event and to learn more about available resources for parents and students, visit PFA’s official website.

Relax, they’re fine

“Every problem is not a problem, sometimes it’s a learning/teaching experience.”

“Your child will be fine. I encourage you to have them spend very little time coming home except for holidays/special occasions. We found our daughter learned how resourceful she is.”

While negative experiences may stick out more than others, UA families say it’s important to remember that there are also great things happening and students will work issues out on their own. As one UA family member puts it, “relax and let your students find their way. UA is a great place to learn and grow!”