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Timely Issues

May

This time of year, graduating students continuously hear the question, “What are you going to do next?” While the person asking the question doesn’t mean any harm, it may become very annoying to the graduate, who has been hearing it consistently from family, friends, faculty, and acquaintances. It can be especially frustrating if the graduate does not yet have a job lined up, or is not happy with the available options.

Alternative questions to show support of graduates and reduce the pressure are, “Are you planning to stay in Rochester, or will you be moving somewhere else?” “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?”

Similar to breaks, the whole family will have to negotiate the living situation when students return home for the summer. Unlike breaks, this stay will last several months, so concerns need to be addressed quickly. 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 expectations around curfews, meals, chores, and other household contributions.

Students completing their first year may experience issues or concerns about relationships—their RIT friends are likely not in the area and their high school friends have changed, just as they have.

Student experiences:

  • Panic about finals and completing class projects at the beginning of May
  • Emotions about leaving friends and moving out of the residence hall or apartment
  • Frustration and anxiety about sorting, packing, and cleaning in preparation for moving out
  • For graduates, ambivalent feelings. Joy and pride about graduating; 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