The stressful finals period is coming up, and we asked students to share how their families support them during finals. Their ideas might surprise you.
“I love it when my mom sends me care packages with my favorite snacks, self-care items like socks and face masks, and pictures of my cats! I also like it when my family waits to call me until they know that my exams are through.”— Kaitlyn, Sophomore, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Coldwater, MI
“A lot of students are worried about doing poorly on their finals. They’re concerned about what this might say about them as a person or how it might affect their future. Parents can help by saying something along the lines of ‘I know you will try your best to do well, but even if you do poorly, it does not define who you are, and it will not close any doors to future opportunities.’” – Scott, Junior, School of Public Health, Buffalo Grove, IL
“Here are a few things that my family does during finals: 1) pray for me, 2) quick face-time calls or texts with words of encouragement or pictures of my dog, 3) they know that I don’t have much time so they are understanding when I can’t talk as much, 4) they listen to me vent, and 5) they follow up after exams.” – Melissa, Junior, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Irving, TX
“Something that helps me is when they text nice messages randomly. I don't always have time to call home and have full conversations when I'm in the depths of studying for finals so the fact that they are accepting of that and still send me encouragement is really helpful. Also, packages with candy are always appreciated.” – Madelyn, Sophomore, LSA Residential College, Canton, MI
“Being unconditionally supportive; sending some sort of care package; and telling their students that they are loved and that they belong here.” – Evan, Senior, Ford School of Public Policy, Southgate, MI
“Care packages are fun to receive especially when they're unexpected, but some of my favorite things are simply handwritten notes or letters that don't cost much (besides maybe a stamp) as well as face-times or calls home. Those simple things definitely go a long way when dealing with the stresses of midterms and finals!” – Semat, Junior, School of Kinesiology, Tinley Park, IL
“Sending a card of support and optimism always helps during finals!” – Grace, Junior, School of Public Health, West Bloomfield, MI
“The best way my family showed me support was by reminding me that I had the tools to get myself to the University of Michigan in the first place, so I also had the tools to succeed here now, even when it didn’t feel like it.” — Andrea, Senior, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Guatemala City, Guatemala
“Every couple of days my mother will send me a little text that says ‘you got this’ or ‘I love you,’ it makes a big difference. One of the other things that has hugely affected my success here is that my parents want to hear what I am learning. This is great because it allows me to teach them what I know and further cement the information in my brain. So basically it’s helpful when parents care about my future and what I am learning while respecting my time and keeping the phone calls somewhat short (30 minutes).” – Kate, Senior, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Battle Creek, MI
As you can see, supporting your student doesn't have to be a grand or expensive gesture. For example, it's easy and important to encourage your student to take care of their health and well-being, because self-care can be the first thing to go when students are under pressure. The little things often mean the most, and students really do notice and appreciate your support.
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