Conversation Starters for Families of College Students

The transition into college is an important and exciting milestone for students and families. Family support can play a significant role in a student’s college success, both inside and outside the classroom. Open up a dialogue with your student using the questions below. 

As they transition to college: 

  • What are you most looking forward to in college? 
  • What are you most worried about as you begin college? 
  • What will you do when confronted with difficult choices? 
  • How can we help you during this transition into college? 

Have a conversation with your student about their own expectations during this transition, and your expectations of them. You might expect your student to communicate daily, they think weekly. Your student might want to handle his or her own challenges first and let you know if they need your help before you step in. Find ways to align expectations between you and your student to reduce conflict during this transition. Revisit each other’s expectations during future semesters.

During the semester: 

  • Tell me about your favorite class.
  • Tell me about your least-favorite class. 
  • How are you spending your time outside of the classroom? 
  • How is life with a roommate? 
  • Tell me the things you do to take care of your mental and physical health. 
  • How are you managing your finances? 
  • What are your plans for next semester, including courses, housing, employment/internships, etc?  
  • Tell me about your personal safety plan. 
  • What have you explored in San Marcos? 
  • How can we best support you?