Office of Residential Life

FAQ for Parents & Families

I have so many questions about USM. Where should I look for information? 

USM has a great information hub for you, our Parents & Families page. There, you'll find a wide variety of information about many areas of student life.

Should I encourage my child to live on campus? 

No single solution works best for every student. However according to national studies, students who live on campus:

•  Get higher grades than those living off campus

•  Graduate earlier than off-campus students

•  Are more involved in outside activities than off-campus students

•  Are 43% more likely to finish college than those who never live on campus

•  Are more likely to do graduate work

•  Gain self-confidence

•  Are more satisfied with the college experience

•  Experience more interpersonal contacts with faculty and peers

•  Explore and grow in artistic interests

•  Increase their personal self-esteem

•  Experience greatest change in philosophy, values, political views, and career goals

My child is having trouble adjusting to college life. What should I do? 

While many students easily transition into their first semester at USM, many of them at some time or another will also experience some transition issues. These can include:

  • Homesickness  

  • Feeling unconnected

  • Roommate conflicts

  • Difficulty with time management

  • Risk-taking behaviors

This is a time for them to learn new ways of coping and how to seek out support and help when they need it. If your student needs help, there are a variety of Counseling Services at USM. There are also resident directors in every residence hall, and you're welcome to call the student's resident director or the Residential Life office to discuss any concerns you have. You might also want to read Advice for Parents from Counseling Services.

I'm worried about my student's physical and emotional well-being. Will he/she be taken care of?

Absolutely. There are numerous resources offered by USM to ensure that your student is able to live safely and comfortably. In addition to University Health and Counseling Services' counseling services for students, there's also a complete health services office which cares for any medical concerns your child may have. It's conveniently located in the center of the Gorham campus in Upton Hall.

For the safety of all students, USM Public Safety is open round the clock, 365 days a year and can assist with a variety of student needs. They are located on campus and can be contacted in person, by phone, or through a campus call box.

My child keeps saying there's nothing to do! What activities are available?

There are lots of activities on campus to keep your son or daughter busy and entertained when taking a break from studies. Here are some great options:

  • Every student has free access to Intramural Sports on campus.

  • The University of Southern Maine also has 23 NCAA intercollegiate sports teams that compete throughout the school year. Visit the Athletics page for all sports schedules. Go Huskies!

  • The Gorham campus is home to an Arboretum which has a large variety of trees from all over the world.

  • USM houses art galleries on both the Gorham and Portland campuses which display work from students, faculty, and guest artists.

  • The USM School of Music proudly performs on a regular basis and students are welcome to attend and support their talented classmates.

  • The Department of Theatre productions display great student talent and take place throughout the year.

  • If your son or daughter is the type of person who likes to get involved and make decisions, check out Student Activities, Student Government, and a host of other opportunities.

  • Students can visit our Planetarium, which offers a variety of programming that changes regularly.