‘First 40’ days crucial to successful freshman transition

First-day-of-school pictures — showing smiling little kids carrying brand-new backpacks — are an annual tradition for many families. Fortunately, for family members of WUSTL students, staff members are keeping the tradition alive. Part of  “First 40” programming, staff members take students’ photos and hand out free school supplies. Right, junior Jeannette Mundy is one of many upperclassmen who still observe the tradition.

Smooth transition to college should start early in life

David KilperAs fall quickly approaches, so does the time for which many parents and students have long been waiting — some would say, dreading — the first day of college. Your child’s departure for college is a monumental step and one that you can start preparing for when your child is just taking his or her first steps, says a Washington University in St. Louis expert on the college experience.

Letting go as children head off to college for the first time

David Kilper / WUSTL PhotoAdvice for sending your child off to college for the first time.Sending your child off to college for the first time isn’t easy. But it can be especially tough on “helicopter parents,” those who tend to hover over their children and can have a hard time letting go. But not to worry, says an expert on the freshman transition at Washington University in St. Louis and co-author of the acclaimed book “Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years.” Even helicopter parents can make a successful break.

Summer break brings challenges — and rewards — to both college students and their parents

Keeping in touch with college friends.For many college students who have just completed their freshman year, coming home for an entire summer after being on their own can be quite an adjustment. For their parents it can be just as tough. Issues of curfews, privacy, chores and schedules can put a strain on the family dynamics. The solution, says an expert on the freshman transition at Washington University in St. Louis, is open communication and support for a student’s burgeoning independence.