“I’m concerned that my son/daughter will feel or become “lost” on such a big campus and feel lonely, unsupported and discouraged.”
The University of Manitoba is a very large place – some have said that it is the third largest “city” in Manitoba when in regular session! For some students, there are more people living in their residence than lived in their home town. Some students can become lost and feel disconnected but most do fine with this transition. There are many extra-curricular activities on campus that help students connect with one another and there are many services to help students who are feeling lost. If your son or daughter is not “doing well” consider encouraging them to use the Student Counselling and Career Centre drop-in counselling service – check out this link for more information.
“I’m worried that my son/daughter won’t get good grades.”
Transitioning to university study takes some time and a major part of this transition is learning how to study, how to write for university assignments and how to complete tests and exams. There are many services available to help students enhance their academic skills including the Learning Assistance Centre (provide link). Most students learn how to be a “university student” and work through this transition fine. Remember that most academic programs and career paths understand the challenges of this transition and remain viable options even if academic performance is lower than hoped. For example, some professional schools allow students to not count some of their poorer grades when applying for admission. Check out admissions and separate faculties and schools for more information on admission requirements and regulations. Finally, it is important to consider why you are worried about your son/daughter’s academic performance as there are many reasons why a student may not do as well academically as hoped (e.g., very high stress from life events).
“I’m concerned because my son/daughter doesn’t have a career plan yet and hasn’t identified an occupational goal.”
It is common for incoming university students to be undecided about their career direction and it is also very common for university students to change career paths during their first couple years of post-secondary study. Being undecided about career direction is an indication that your son/daughter needs to engage in some activity to become more career directed. Encourage them to access our services and to explore interests – identify something you like and put more energy and time into it to see what is possible and to check out interests.
“My daughter/son is taking a program and has a career goal that I’m struggling to support.”
This can be very challenging for parents and can lead to conflict between parents and their son/daughter. If you’re in this situation, begin by thinking about why you’re struggling to support your son/daughter’s career direction. Identify specific reasons for your concern/worry and also consider how you are different from your son/daughter. The reasons you identify will likely have varying degree of objectivity. That is, some reasons may relate to earning potential, job security, or work environment. Others may be more subjective. For example, you personally don’t value the work or have interest in the work. Asking your son/daughter if they have explored and researched some of the objective factors can help them become more aware of the implications of their choice. Trying to get them to abandon interests or value based choices because they are not consistent with your interests and values will likely be far more difficult. Finally, ask yourself if you know enough about the career path to make judgments. Is your knowledge of the career path largely intuitive or based on one experience with the area? If yes, we encourage you to explore the career more thoroughly to learn if your concerns/worry is accurate.