Parents and Families

A student studies with his laptop

Learning to manage a heavy academic workload while focusing on health and well-being as final exams loom can be a challenging part of the college experience. Parents and family members will often be the first people students turn to when they want to talk through stress this time of year. The best thing you can do is make yourself available to listen and be a source of comfort.

What are some ways to support your student during finals? We asked current undergraduates for suggestions: 

“The most amazing thing that my family would do is always try to reduce the pressure of finals. A lot of the stress and feeling of ‘needing to do amazing’ on exams comes from internal pressure and the desire to not let down the people who sacrifice so much for me to be here. Having your family reassure you that, ‘as long as you work hard, it doesn't matter what the outcome is because it’s the learning and effort that counts,’ meant so much. Also, subtle reminders to eat and sleep are great because it’s easy to get caught up in the constant studying.” —Kinesiology Senior – Jackson, Michigan

“For me, it's really my parents letting me have control over my own time during finals week that has been the most helpful. They would ask me ahead of time when I want to video chat with them, and they are very understanding if I'm too busy studying for finals that I can't reach out to them as often as I would like. I believe that setting this agreement ahead of time and being understanding and flexible about it is a really great way for parents to support their students.” —LSA Sophomore – Wayland, MA

“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. . . One or two encouraging texts is also nice. Not a lot, because that can feel overwhelming, but just something short like, ‘You’re doing great!’ or ‘You’ll do great on your exam today!’” —LSA Junior – Guatemala City, Guatemala

“Simply sending me a text/card/message of encouragement! It is so helpful just to know that they support me no matter what happens. Also, a Starbucks gift card or two always helps!” —LSA Sophomore – Hershey, PA

"My parents are respectful of my time, and we have a set time every day when we talk.  I appreciate that they allow me to be in control of my life and my studies." —Engineering Sophomore – China

“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 impacted 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).” —LSA Junior – Battle Creek, MI

“Care packages are fun to receive especially when they're unexpected, but some of my favorite things are simply hand written 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!” —Kinesiology Junior – Tinley Park, IL

"I suggest my parents to text or email me positives messages like, ‘It's okay if you don't get good grades as long as your lifestyle is healthy’.” —Engineering Junior – China

“My parents once knew that I had multiple exams on the same day. So, the day before my exams, they convinced me to Skype them. They surprised me by having my siblings, nieces, and nephews all on the call. They all told me how proud they are of me and showed me much needed support. Being able to simply see all of my family during a stressful time was an incredible relief of anxiety.” —LSA Senior – Fife Lake, MI

The little moments and conversations here and there can provide the greatest impact for your students, even if they forget to tell you.

Supporting your student doesn’t have to involve grand gestures or elaborate care package, but it can! Learn more about M Gifts. Proceeds of every dollar spent on M Gift packages support U-M student programs and campus facilities.


To help Student Life continue making a difference in students' lives, please consider making a gift.

November 2018 Newsletter

No articles found