Dealing with Your Parents Concerns in University

Parents Questions

As you graduate from high school and head off to university you may feel as if you are finally growing up and getting closer to full adulthood. For those moving away from home and heading off to their college town, the feeling of independence and new found freedom may be even more pronounced. Yet as you mature and become a more responsible and self-dependent young adult, the truth is you may likely still be dependent on your parents for various forms of support and guidance. As such you can still expect your parents to routinely check up on you and ask questions regarding your life in university.

Why Parents May Feel the Need to Intrude

Even though you will likely experience much more freedom and independence upon entering university, the reality is that you will still in many ways depend on your parents for help. If your parents are helping you with tuition and housing during your four years of studies, and giving you a free place to stay in the summer, it is not unreasonable that they expect some sort of return on their investment by seeing you succeed. Even in the case that you have gained full financial independence by the time you enter university, it is still perfectly natural for your closest family members and guardians to want to look out for you and check up every now and then. Thus it is important to be understanding about their concerns and not default to viewing their questions as overly intrusive.

Common Concerns You May Expect from Your Parents

Concerns over Performance and Grade Drops

One of the most common concerns that your parents might exhibit when you enter university revolves around your academic performance. As mentioned before, this may arise out of a sense of wanting to see a return on their investment (the time and resources that they have committed to you going to university). Yet a more likely cause for concern are issuess that you may be experiencing with your grades as you struggle to adjust to the new university system in your early years. If this is the case, you could refer them to our article on the 5 Common Reasons for the First Year Grade Drop to help them understand what you are going through.

Concerns about Adjusting to Your New Environment

Another common cause for concern from your parents regards your adjustment to your new environment in university. Going to university often means moving away from your friends and having to establish relationships with new people. It also means breaking away from the environment that you have grown comfortable with and having to adjust to a new setting. This disruption can at times be quite stressful as different students’ experiences with their new lives in university can vary considerably. As such you may find you parents occasionally asking questions about how you are adapting to the university lifestyle. In this case it is best to be honest and seek help whenever you feel overwhelmed.

Practical Concerns about Your Day-To-Day Affairs

Going to university often means living on your own for the first time. If this is the case then you might have to deal with an array of issue such as learning to cook for yourself, doing laundry, cleaning your living quarters, and paying your bills. As you may not have been used to performing many of these tasks on a regular basis, it would make sense that your parents exhibit a moderate degree of concern regarding your day-to-day activities. Yet in this instance it might be you who is the one often asking the questions.

Learning to Establish New Boundaries

One of the most important steps to becoming an adult is learning to establish new boundaries with your parents and learning to foster a healthy and respectful relationship with them as you mature. It is important to recognize that while your parents concerns may at times seem excessive, they usually mean well. The best course of action is to be as honest as possible about what your expectations are, and to maintain healthy and open communication.

5 Common Reasons for the First Year Grade Drop


While entering university can be a fun and exciting time, it also presents many challenges that can often lead to a first year grade drop. The following are five common factors that may affect your performance as a student during your first year in university.

5 Common Reasons for the First Year Grade Drop

1. Increased Difficulty in Courses

The primary reason why most student see their marks drop during their first year of university tends to be that university level courses are simply more difficult than high school courses. Not only is the content more conceptually difficult, but the volume is usually higher, and the amount of studying time  required to succeed is more than most students are accustomed to. Unless you learn to meet your new demands academically, it is likely that you will not be able to achieve the same results you did in high school by putting in the same amount of work.

2. Adjusting to the University System

Not only is course work more difficult in university, but the structure of your classes and assignments differs radically from your previous education. Instead of being an hour each day, a class in first year is typically three hours a week with two hours of lecturing and an hour of tutorial. Also, instead of having a steady stream of assignments throughout the semester, university courses typically base your marks on one or two major assignments as well as a midterm and final that make up the majority of your grade. In your first year classes it is also likely that you will be packed in a room with a couple hundred other students and not get a chance to know your professor unless you make a concerted effort. All of these changes can be disorienting at first and lead to a first year grade drop as you struggle to adjust to the university system.

3. Being Placed in the Wrong Program/Courses

For some students going into first year, they will soon discover that the major that they elected to take is not the right fit for them. While chemistry or history may have been your favorite courses in high school, the realization that a concentration in these fields requires you to take numerous courses on them, some on subjects that you find tedious and boring, is enough to turn some students off. Other subjects like engineering or business may not even be introduced to students at a high school level, thus a student’s perception of them might change once they are actually in their first year introductory classes. If you discover when entering university that you are disinterested in your field of study then it is easy to get discouraged and see your marks suffer.

4. Programs that Grade on a Curve

What many student often forget is that when they enter a competitive university program they are placed in classes with other students who were also high performers in high school. While you may be used to having been one of the brightest people in your class back in grade twelve, now you are competing with others who probably felt the same way. As such, since most university programs maintain a certain average and tend to grade on a curve, the quality of your work will be measured up against other strong preforming students. Thus when you receive a B in University you are receiving a median mark for students who were used to getting A’s in High School.

5. Socializing and Lifestyle Changes

If you were somewhat sheltered growing up and are now living away from home for the first time, chances are that you will now be exposed to a new lifestyle of partying and a range of different social activities carried out through the various clubs that are available on campus. Even if you were outgoing in high school, university is still considered by many to be a highlight in their social lives where for four years the good times never seemed to end. Regardless of your circumstances it is important to learn how to balance your school work with your social life if you desire to overcome a potential first year grade drop.

Bottom Line on Your First Year Grade Drop

Regardless of which of the aforementioned reasons is most responsible for your likely decrease in grades when entering university, it is important to remember that first year is more about adjusting to your new surroundings than receiving stellar marks. If you are pursuing a post bachelors degree, or want to complete a competitive program, keep in mind that there is still plenty of time to improve your performance in school, and that if you put in the hard work you marks will eventually go back to where they once were.