Cheer your student on

Student life is full of challenges and rewards. Here are some resources and ideas to help you encourage your student's exciting growth through both.

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Celebrate your student's birthday, hard work, or big win.

If your student's birthday falls between August 28 and May 4, students participating in Wheaton's Youth Hostel Ministry can bake and deliver a birthday cake to him or her.  All proceeds benefit YHM.  To place your order, phone the Office of Christian Outreach at 630-752-5076.

Also, in the lead-up to finals week, students participating in ministries run through the Office of Christian Outreach assemble fruit baskets for students.  All proceeds benefit the Office of Christian Outreach ministries.  Once again, the number to call to place this order is 630-752-5076. 

At any time of year the Wheaton College Bookstore can put together a care package for your student.  To order one, simply click on this link or call the bookstore at 630-752-5119.

Our campus catering service, Bon Appetit, also offers "Thinking of You" gift baskets. Baskets are designed to please every palate and include a keepsake basket, a greeting card with your personal message, and a variety of homemade goodies. Customized packages are also available.  To place your order, complete this form (PDF), scan it, and return it by email to Bon Appetit.  You can also place your order over the phone by calling Bon Appétit at 630-752-5839.

Encourage your student's health-promoting habits

Student Health Services has nurses and physicians on campus and also has after-hours health consultation available.  Inside physicians' offices, your student can receive help for nearly all of their routine health-related concerns and assistance with ongoing medical conditions.  For health issues that require off-campus treatment, Student Health Services can arrange for a free shuttle service to local doctors or to specialty health food stores (in the case of food-sensitive medical conditions).  Encourage your student to notice his/her body's needs for nutrition, exercise, and rest, and to utilize Student Health Services for help with remaining well.

Encourage your student's involvement with a diversity of people.

You've probably heard it many times: Wheaton is committed to global learning and ethnic diversity.  With students from 50 states, 42 countries, and 55 Christian denominations; and with a student body that is 19% American ethnic minority, an additional 3% who are resident aliens in the United States, and 8% who are students of missionaries (MKs) or Third-Culture-Kids (TCKs), your student is in the middle of opportunities to grow from the experience of peers who are different from themselves. Whatever background your student comes from, Wheaton's Office of Multicultural Development (OMD) is a hub of activity and resources for your student's acculturation or growth in diversity.  Working alongside the OMD, the Office of International Student Services also exists to assist international students with immigration responsibilities, acculturation, and practical logistics.

Be assured that we offer academic help.

Wheaton's Academic and Disability Services (ADS) knows that academic performance does not come equally to all people in all areas. The ADS office strives to recognize and develop the God-given strengths of each student, providing services both for students needing academic assistance, and for those managing learning, physical, or mental health challenges.  If your student finds him or herself academically struggling, encourage him or her to look into the help offered through this office.
 

Affirm your student's spiritual growth.

It's not uncommon for students to both deepen and wrestle with faith during their college years.  In the life of a student, wrestling with faith in community can often be an indication that his/her faith is important and a relationship that he/she wants to be a part of who they're becoming. The campus community of Wheaton is designed to be a safe and supportive place where students can ask questions, be stretched, and gain depth in their love of Christ.  If  your student wishes for a peer or mentor to talk with about their questions, encourage him or her to seek out his/her Residence Life staff, a trusted faculty member, coach, or pastor whom they respect. 

The Wheaton Chaplain's office is also a place where students can find someone to pray with them and guide them toward resources.  In situations of serious illness, crisis, or loss, the Chaplain's office will seek ways to intentionally care for students, partnering with other campus departments to attend to student  needs.  
 

Affirm your student's human growth.

Research shows it can take six to twelve months for new students to adapt to college life.  While challenging, it is also very normal for your student to feel some degree of stress, anxiety, or doubt about their added responsibility, changing relationships, living situation, and separation from home. 

What are some ways you can help?  Encourage your student to be patient with his or process of transition.  Encourage them to talk with peers about their feelings--including stories about their home life, daily highs and lows, and personal interests. Your student might be comforted to find that many peers feel much like they do. Point your student to Residence Life staff who can be a great resource in bridging connections or brainstorming ways for your student to find their place. Counselors in the Wheaton College Counseling Center are also available to counsel with your student about their more deeply felt questions and challenges.  Appointments at the Counseling Center are free to students and present a wonderful opportunity for students to take intentional steps toward their maturation and well-being.  

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