Talk with Your Student

Here are some topics for families and parents to discuss with your student to help guide them through the college journey.

December 2018

Final exams and grades

The end of the semester is quickly approaching which means students are extremely busy preparing for final exams, papers and projects. During this stressful time, students should be encouraged to seek balance in work and play and take care of themselves. This is an ideal time to send words of reassurance, a care package or a gift certificate to enjoy a meal out. Grades are posted in students’ CheckMarq accounts the week after finals. Inevitably, some students may not do as well as they had hoped. Take time to discuss with your student what he or she hopes or plans to do differently in the future and encourage them to take advantage of academic support services. More information about guest access on Checkmarq is available online.

A time for reflection and fun

Winter break is an ideal time for families and students to reflect on the semester, especially after students have caught up on sleep and reconnected with family and friends. Parents should take time to ask students about their favorite class, favorite Milwaukee restaurant, most challenging professor and new friends. It’s also a good time to encourage students to develop in their faith or spirituality and ask if they have considered taking advantage of the many faith-based resources offered for students of all backgrounds on campus.

When your student is home during winter break make sure to spend time doing fun activities. It doesn't necessarily have to be a big trip but rather a time for simple things that your student might have enjoyed prior to college. Some ideas can be found in “Winter break fun for families of college students” from

Away from home, students are learning to make independent and responsible decisions as an adult. Enjoy time with your student and take pride in the growth they have achieved

February 2019

Winter blahs

Winter in Milwaukee can be a challenge for some students as the snow flies and the days get shorter. Students may experience the winter “blahs”, and alcohol use tends to increase at this time of the year. Encourage students to bundle up and spend time outside exploring Milwaukee. Included in student tuition is a bus pass for the Milwaukee County bus system, and there are hundreds of entertainment and dining options only a few minutes away, Visit Milwaukee is a great place to start the search.

Study abroad opportunities

It’s also a time when a lot of students think about and plan to study abroad. Applications for summer, fall and full-year study abroad programs are due in March. The Office of International Education supports more than 70 locations across the globe. OIE will host program-specific information sessions and informational booths during the end of January and beginning of February.

Spring break plans can include service trips

Spring break – March 10 to 17 – is just around the corner, and students begin making plans for trips during this time. Some visit home, travel or stay on campus, but many participate in week-long service trips with other students. Offered through student organizations or Campus Ministry, service trips are a fun, inexpensive way for students to meet new people while giving back to their greater community. Service sites are spread around the globe and provide an opportunity to live and learn from people of different backgrounds. The trips engage students in aspects of social justice

March 2019

Housing selection 

Marquette requires first and second-year students to live in the on-campus residence halls unless they live at home. In early March, students must submit a housing deposit that will activate their preassigned, random assignment times. Current first-year students will receive priority. For more information about this process students should reach out to the Office of Residence Life. 

Fall class registration and declaring a major 

Students will meet their adviser and begin planning for course registration for the next year. Students will be able to view their registration times in their CheckMarq account. Those who are still undecided about which major to choose should be encouraged to explore their options and seek guidance from academic support services. Most students choose a major by the end of their sophomore year, but even those who don’t should start narrowing down options.  Career Services also serves as a resource for students for a variety of topics including selecting a major and how to prepare for a job/intern search. They have a portion on their website devoted to helping family members assist their student with career development. 

Lil Sibs Registration  

Lil Sibs Weekend Weekend Apri 5-6 will be filled with events tailored to younger siblings of all ages. This event occurs annually in April, and this year, we hope you have a ROARing good time! 

Registration is now available! The priority registration deadline is March 15th, but online registration will remain open until the date of the event. 

March Madness  

With Spring Break approaching, campus is buzzing with the excitement around Marquette basketball.  Look for more information on the Marquette Parent Facebook page.

April 2019


Staying focused 

As temperatures rise, students often find it more difficult to concentrate. Continue to encourage your student to balance work and play and join study groups or set attainable short-term goals to stay focused on classes and assignments.  

Summer jobs 

It is never too early for students to begin preparing for their post-graduation career. Summer jobs and internships are valuable opportunities to learn skills for future jobs and start creating a network of professional contacts. The programs, including resume critiques, interview practice, and job and internship search skills. Encourage your student to take advantage of Career Services and visit the Handshake websites to see what opportunities are out there. 

Summer class opportunities 

Whether your student is looking to catch up, get a head start on the fall semester or graduate sooner, Marquette’s Summer Studies program offers hundreds of on-campus options and many online courses, including many popular introductory and University Core of Common Studies classes. Six-week accelerated summer programs allow students to take a class in the morning or evening, leaving plenty of time for a summer job or internship and enjoying summer in Milwaukee. 


Commencement information will be updated frequently, but make sure to visit the website to learn more information and help you and your student plan for this exciting time! 

Master’s Degree 

Your student could complete a master's degree in one additional academic year, saving significant time and money. Learn more about Marquette’s Accelerated Degree Programs online.   

May 2019

The final push 

Students are facing their final round of papers, projects and exams and often experience a great deal of pressure at this time of the year. This is a great time to send your student a care package and pass along words of encouragement.  

Residence hall move-out 

Right after final exams, students will need to pack and prepare their residence hall room to move out. The Office of Residence Life can provide additional information about summer housing options for students choosing to stay or information about summer storage. 

Many students return home for the summer, and others pursue internship opportunities or summer employment in Milwaukee. No matter their plans, students are often exhausted after finals, mentally and physically, and need some time to re-energize.  

Back at home 

Families should talk with their students about how they’ve seen them grown during the past year and discuss their hopes for the upcoming year. Ask them about what they hope to accomplish in the next year and how they will continue to be involved on campus and in the Milwaukee community. Encourage your student to get involved in out-of-class experiences, even if that didn’t happen last year. It’s never too late. 

Staying in touch with friends 

Students who leave campus for the summer may wonder what will happen to their friendships during the summer, so encourage them to stay in touch with their classmates. Popular Milwaukee reunion destinations include Summerfest, which beings in late June, and a variety of other festivals on or near the lakefront. Visit Milwaukee has lots of helpful information about events and things to do in the city. 

First- to second-year transition 

First-year parents and students have just completed a year of change and self-discovery. Next up is sophomore year, which has its own set of challenges. Sophomore are often more comfortable and confident than first-year students. In spite of this, students think they should have everything under control but know they don’t. The excitement and challenge of freshman year is gone, as is the adrenaline rush of transition. The traditional sophomore slump hits mid-year and can linger through spring. Critical issues for sophomores include academic complacency, personal and financial risk, and changing interest and goals.  

Sophomores often take more risks than they did as freshman. This is a year when financial problems – some related to credit cards, for example – can set it. It’s important for parents to discuss expectations and proper money management skills.  

It’s also often a time when students start more serious relationships. It’s important for student to continue to find balance in their social lives and academic pursuits. 

Many sophomores are ripe for identifying, or at least clarifying, their passion in life. It’s still early enough to change majors, so encourage students to embrace their passions and explore majors that might allow them to capitalize on their strengths.