Monthly Parent Guide
The student-life cycle includes a number of different experiences and challenges over the course of the year. Below is a month-by-month list of possible stressors to help parents and guardians become aware of possible timelines and what resources are available to support students.
The start of your student’s university career is just around the corner! This exciting time is also a mix of anticipation, nervousness and preparation. To help ease this transition, Mount Royal has many support services to help your student succeed from their first day of post-secondary through to convocation. Make sure that they are ready to go by completing our Welcome Guide that includes important transitional information.
Attending New Student Orientation is a great first step towards student success. These events will inspire them to step out of their comfort zone, students with resources, social connection and critical dates help make their transition to university life a positive one.
Attend our Parent Orientation and listen to an informative panel of students and administrators who will answer your questions.
September marks the beginning of the school year. and whether this is your student’s first or even fourth year at Mount Royal, it can be a time full of unknowns. It's the time of year to find classes, make new friends and meet professors. September is also when they learn to manage higher academic expectations while balancing work/social life/school obligations, and sometimes it’s about living on their own for the first time.
The beginning of the school year is full with welcome back events and opportunities for your students to meet new friends. At this time, students are excited to explore new things and engage with campus.
- Meet new friends by joining a school club
- Recreation programs
- On-campus work and volunteer opportunities
- Academic Advising
- School spirit and Cougars Athletics
- Participate in welcome week activities and September activities when in residence.
- Apply to work with a Peer Mentor
- Register to get help from a Learning Peer
In October, students will be going through their first round of exams and getting their mid-term grades back. At this point, students may be having doubts about their academic progress and may not know about the resources available to them. Have your student refer themselves to the Office of Student Success Early Support program where they will have a one on one assessment of what resources may be of assistance during their time at Mount Royal.
Students may also be experiencing loneliness if they haven't yet connect with Mount Royal and its community. Mount Royal has services that can help support everything from managing time and money, to properly citing an academic paper or accommodating accessibility issues and providing social support networks.
This is the last full month of classes and with mid-terms out the way, November is the time for students to catch up and address the areas where they may be struggling academically, physically and emotionally. Students in residence may be feeling homesick, while those that are living off-campus may be experiencing commuter fatigue. Morale is generally lower in November and students are in need of the back up support that Mount Royal and family can provide. Help them stay positive. Last full month of classes so students are almost done!
The end of the Fall term is coming to a close. December is the time to complete papers and projects, prepare for pending final exams and the holiday season. Students are experiencing a lot of pressure at this time, financial stress is high, academically they have final project and essay deadlines to meet, as well as studying for finals; many students are sleep deprived and overly stressed. The Student Association and Mount Royal have several programs such as the Season of Caring, Stress Less and puppy rooms to help students get through these stressful times.
The winter break is a good time to apply for awards.
After a much needed break over the holidays, it’s time to back into the swing of things. The start of Winter Semester holds promise of new beginnings and perhaps some academic resolutions. Students will be taking new classes and will be meeting some new professors. The beginning of the semester is a great time to get to know their professors so that they feel comfortable asking for additional help if it’s needed.
January is also a time to re-establish a healthy lifestyle and positive academic habits. Full-time students automatically have access to the Recreation Centre with a climbing centre, swimming pool, fitness centre and more. Student Learning Services is an excellent resource for students to access free tutoring, help with paper writing, presentations and effective study habits.
February can be difficult with the cold and the short days making Winter Semester more draining for students than Fall. MRU has strategically placed Reading Week (a week off from classes) during the second half of February to give students time to decompress, take stock, reach out for help and study/complete assignments. Ask your student to do an honest check in with themselves about what they want to accomplish this semester.
While students will be going through another set of mid-terms in February, they also need to plan ahead for a successful transition into their second year at University. Take time this month to talk about their academic goals and remind them to apply for academic awards (application closes March 1).
Spend some time with your student over Reading Week to help them through their decision-making process as they plan for their second year. Encourage them to attend the event Customize Your Degree where they can speak to a faculty academic advisor about different program majors or about adding a minor to their program. This is a great opportunity for your student to get the most out of their time here based on their own goals and interests.
At this time, thoughts of planning for summer and second year are an undercurrent of student life. March is when both on-campus and off campus employers are recruiting students for summer jobs. Students also begin considering their living arrangements for the upcoming year. They may have to choose between staying at home, living in residence, or finding off-campus housing. Starting both the job search and the hunt for new accommodations early is a great way for students to plan for a successful transition to second year. It also enables students to focus solely on their studies at the end of term as opposed to being stressed about multiple issues.
March is the time for students to contact Academic Advising and start planning their courses for the Fall Semester. Registration opens mid-March and it’s important to have an academic plan in place. Will they take classes in the Spring or Summer? What General Education classes can they take to explore areas of interest outside their program? Should they add a minor to their degree? Academic Advisors can help with all these questions.
The end of the school year is coming to a close and students are finishing up final papers, projects and preparing for exams. While students are familiar with the stresses of this time of year, it can still be a difficult time. The longer days help restore student’s energy, but this is also a time when students may experience burn out after a full first year. It can be hard for students to remain focused with summer around the corner, so help your student end their year successfully by reminding them of the supports on campus they can use if they need them.
April is also a key time to be on the job hunt to secure summer employment.
Finals are finished and it’s time to celebrate the completion of first year!
Students can still access campus services over the summer: Recreation offers discounted summer memberships to stay active over the break and academic advisors are available to meet with students to talk about upcoming academic plans.
Summer is a also a great time to do some financial planning for the Fall. Many students use more than one type of funding when it comes to paying for their studies. Savings from a summer job, in addition to student loans and scholarships are all options. While the deadline for students to apply for internal scholarships was Mar. 1, many external organizations offer scholarship and bursary opportunities through out the year. Planning on using RESP’s; contact Student Awards and Financial Aid for details.