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Timely Issues


In October, students have settled into a routine. The newness of the beginning of the semester has worn off a bit, and some realities will set in. After the first few weeks of a new class, students will begin to realize how much work they have and how challenging their courses are. Academics will more frequently take precedence over social activities. The academic pressure will escalate later in the month when midterms and big assignments draw closer, and students begin to think about registering for second semester courses.

Socially, initial friendships may wane as students meet more and more people and find peers who are a better match for their personalities and interests. Students will meet many people who are much different from relatives and classmates from home, and will be exposed to new ideas, values, and belief systems. This may cause students, particularly first- and second-year students, to question and explore their own beliefs. This is a growing process throughout the academic experience. The experimentation and discovery wanes over time and students settle in with values they will rely on long into the future.

By the end of October, students will have to make decisions about housing for the following year. This can be a lot of pressure for first-year students, who just moved to campus and are still getting to know RIT. When your student is making decisions about housing, you should have conversations about the responsibilities that come with each option. If your student is looking at RIT apartments, be sure he or she knows which are furnished and unfurnished, and what that will mean financially. If your student is looking to move into non-RIT housing, have discussions about security, bills, cooking, cleaning, transportation and parking, and other tenant responsibilities.

This is also the time of the year when students will begin to realize that their current roommate, who may have seemed like the perfect match, has flaws. Roommate agreements, both formal and informal, will need to be discussed and reassessed. These relationships will tend to even out soon.

Student experiences:

  • Finding a routine; feeling like campus is home
  • Questions and concerns about roommates
  • Getting their feet on the ground in classes; understanding how much work is required
  • Stretching boundaries and seeking new challenges, such as involvement in organizations, leadership opportunities, and co-ops
  • For students in their final year, focus on deadlines for graduate school exams and applications