Good for Everyone: Why Your Student Should Give Back

Many high school students spend time volunteering or participating in community service activities as part of their high school graduation requirements.  Those who are not required to participate by their school often participate in order to bolster their college applications.

Volunteering, or participating in activities to help others, is always a good thing, whatever the motivation.  However, one negative outcome of this requirement is that many students, once they get to college, feel they no longer “need” to volunteer since the school no longer requires participation and their college applications are done.  Like participation in extracurricular activities, some students see these activities as a means to an end (college admission) and may not realize many of the other benefits.

Talk about giving back

Help your student think about why volunteering or donating his time to a worthy cause might be a good thing to do.  Aside from the benefit to the organization, he will gain much himself.

Read moreGood for Everyone: Why Your Student Should Give Back


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

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‘Tis the Season! 10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Your College Student – 2018

It’s that time of year again.  Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday.  We’re thinking about family and friends and we’re thinking about gifts.  If you have a college student, or an about-to-be college student, you may be searching for some ideas for useful or fun gifts.

You know your student best, and can tap into interests and needs, but we’d like to offer some suggestions that may stimulate your imagination. We have ten new suggestions for 2018, but we’ve offered some suggestions in the past.  Don’t stop with this post! Check out our  Resources tab for nearly 100 additional suggestions.  There’s something for everyone there!

Check out our ideas, and then let your own creativity take over!  If you have additional suggestions, share them in the comments!

Read more‘Tis the Season! 10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Your College Student – 2018


Beyond the Pumpkin Pie: When Your College Student Comes Home for Thanksgiving

For many students and their families, Thanksgiving Break will be the first extended trip home from college.  It’s a bit of an appetizer for the longer Winter Break to come.

We’re excited to have our student home. We have plans.  We’ve been baking and cleaning and thinking about those long, important conversations.  We’ll have a chance to catch up and learn all of the details about our student’s life at college.

Maybe.  Be careful.  Don’t expect too much. Be prepared so that you can make the most of the time that you have.

There will be plenty of time for more extended conversations over the longer Winter Break, but you need to give your student some space to relax and regroup for the final push of the semester. This will be a good time for a check-in, and with some thinking and planning you can make the most of the short break.

Read moreBeyond the Pumpkin Pie: When Your College Student Comes Home for Thanksgiving


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Read moreCollege Parent News and Views


When Your College Student’s Class Isn’t Going Well

There are many reasons why your student may struggle in a class.  It may be something that your student is, or isn’t doing.  It may be the professor and/or teaching style.  It may be the subject matter. It may be the transition to college, or to sophomore year, or to upper level classes.

But ultimately, it doesn’t matter what the reason is.  If your student is struggling, or doing poorly in a class, you worry.  You want to help.  Perhaps he should come home more often so you can check his progress and his academic planner.  Perhaps you should call him every evening to make sure he is doing his work.  Perhaps you should speak to the professor.  Perhaps you should buy a duplicate set of textbooks so you can consult on the assignments to make sure he understands the material. (True story, it has happened!)  Perhaps you should just pull him out of school.

Wait! It’s time to take a breath.

None of these options is the answer.  You’ll still worry.  There’s really no way to get around that, but your student needs to find his own solutions.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t consult and help your student think through his options.  That’s part of your coaching role.  So here are some options to discuss with your student.

Read moreWhen Your College Student’s Class Isn’t Going Well


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Read moreCollege Parent News and Views


Undecided, Undeclared, Open, Exploring: Your College Student’s Search for a Major

Many students (some say as many as 50%) enter college undecided about their major.

Many students who enter college as undecided experience stress and anxiety about declaring a major and/or finding a career.

Many students who enter college declaring a major are really undecided but have made a choice because they feel pressured.

Many parents of undecided students worry that their student lacks direction and will not find a meaningful career.

Many students, and their parents, are anxious about this seemingly indecisive status.

Who are these undecided students?

Read moreUndecided, Undeclared, Open, Exploring: Your College Student’s Search for a Major


Using Senior Year to Prepare for Success in College: Nine Skills Your Student Needs to Polish

Senior year is a stressful and tricky year for high school students. They face the final stages of the college application process, then the w-a-i-t-i-n-g that seems interminable, and there’s the final decision to be made.  All the while, students are told to keep their grades up so colleges won’t change their mind and so students will be ready for the academic work of college.

But if your senior wants to be successful in college, there’s more work to be done than meets the eye – and many students and their parents may not realize all that they should be doing.  Academic preparation is essential, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Many students come to college well prepared academically yet they struggle through the first year, not because the coursework is too hard, but because they suddenly need to cope with all of life.  They may have taken for granted all that is involved in managing their day-to-day life; never considered, or never mastered those skills.

How do parents fit in?

Many high schools don’t address the life skills that student need to succeed.  Parents can help students use the senior year to learn to manage their lives well – leaving them energy and time to focus on their academic work.  It’s a gradual process, of course.  Don’t present your student with a list at the beginning of senior year – remember that he’s probably already feeling overwhelmed.  But slip some of these skills in as the year goes along – and then take time at the end of the year to remind your student how prepared he now is to manage not only his schoolwork, but himself.

Read moreUsing Senior Year to Prepare for Success in College: Nine Skills Your Student Needs to Polish


How College Parents Can Help Their Student Avoid Sophomore Slump

College administrators, faculty, and parents place a lot of emphasis on the transition to college and the first-year experience.  We all know that these new college students, and their parents, will be undergoing a tremendous change in their lives as they enter the world of college.  Colleges run orientation programs, offer special classes and seminars for first-year students, communicate with these new students with encouragement and reminders, and often have a “let it go” attitude when new students make mistakes or miss deadlines.

Once students complete that tumultuous first year of college, they face sophomore year and the changes that it brings.  Our sophomore students need just as much support from home, even though that need may be less obvious. As college parents, we can help our sophomore students realize that the concept of sophomore slump really does exist.

What is sophomore slump?

Sophomore slump refers to the phenomenon in which a second effort fails to live up to the quality of a first effort.  The term is also used in sports (for second year players) and in music (for second recordings by an artist).  At college, students in their second, or sophomore, year often experience both a let-down and a decrease in their grades.  If the word sophomore means “wise fool,” it is an accurate description of how many second year students feel: they aren’t sure whether they feel wise or foolish at any given moment.

Why does sophomore slump happen?

There are several things that occur during the second year of college that can contribute to the slump that sophomores may encounter.  These are especially troubling if your student is unprepared for the differences during this year of college.  Parents and students need to understand the ways in which this year is different from that first year of college.

Read moreHow College Parents Can Help Their Student Avoid Sophomore Slump