College parenting begins, for many parents, during the application and admission process. We help keep track of deadlines, we arrange college visits, we support through the SAT exams, we read admissions essays, and we support our students through the acceptance wait and the final decision. Then we enter the next phase of helping our student get ready to head to college and make the transition. We know our role changes during the many phases of the college years, but we assume that we’ll settle in and enjoy the ride – even if there are a few bumps along the way.
However, for an increasing number of students, the college experience may come with a certain amount of disappointment, disillusionment and dissatisfaction. Things simply may not be working. Students may turn to parents once again to help decide what to do next. For some students, the problem may be in making the adjustment to college life or in being unprepared for the experience. For others, academics are overwhelming and help is needed. Still other students may question whether they made the “right” choice of college or major. They may feel that a change will help.
Parents whose students face these difficult times will need to do a lot of listening and questioning to help students determine what the real issues may be. Students may need to simply adjust the way they are approaching college, make a change of major, or get more help. Other students will decide to make a significant shift – changing schools or taking a break from school.
Here are a few posts that may be especially helpful to families whose college student may be facing dissatisfaction, and who may be facing a decision about how to proceed. We hope you find these useful.
Confronting the issue
One of the first steps may be to acknowledge the dissatisfaction and analyze the problem.
Listening and supporting
Your parental communication skills will be more important than ever.
Weighing the options
Your student may need to make some decisions and choices. There are always choices.
Staying put and taking positive action
Your student may need to make some changes to create a more fulfilling experience.
Making a change
Perhaps your student will need to take a different route to find the right path for her.