How Well Do You Know Your College Student? Maybe Not As Well As You Think

As parents, we like to think that no one knows our children as well as we do.  But as our children become adolescents and then emerging adults and adults, we may not know them as well as we think we do.  This may have less to do with our relationship with our child (this generation of emerging adults has closer relationships with parents than earlier generations), and more to do with the special characteristics of Millennials and Emerging Adults.

Here are a few posts that might help you think in some new ways about your Emerging Adult.  Use these as conversation starters to get to know your student better than ever.

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Why Your Student Should Attend Accepted or Admitted Student Day

Your student has been accepted to college!  Congratulations!  Perhaps he has been accepted to his first choice of school or to several schools.  Once those highly anticipated letters have been received, the ball is once again in your student’s court.  Now he must make that final decision of which school he will attend.  This is potentially a very stressful time for your student.

For many students, one good opportunity to evaluate colleges one last time is Accepted or Admitted Student Day.  This day is often held in the spring between the time that students have been accepted and the May 1 deposit deadline.  Colleges invite students who have been accepted to visit campus one more time.  Most colleges who host an Accepted Student Day work hard to make it a productive and informative day.  This is the group of students the college wants to attract and they want to be sure students see the college in the best light.

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Five Steps to Help Your College Student Turn Around a Poor Semester

Perhaps your student has received his midterm grades and is worried.  Or perhaps your student has talked with his professors and has been warned that things aren’t going well.  Or perhaps your student simply knows that he hasn’t done what he needed to do so far this semester and things look bleak.

However your student determines that the first half of the semester has gone poorly, he may be wondering whether it is too late to turn things around.  Your student may share his situation with you or he may worry about how you will react.  Encourage your student to share his situation honestly with you.  Help him understand that you want to do whatever you can to help him have a successful experience.

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Help Your Student Get Started Talking to Professors

One piece of advice that is given to students over and over again is “Get to know your professors” or “Talk to your professors.”  It is wonderful and important advice.  College provides a wonderful opportunity for students to get to know and work with experts and leaders in their chosen field.  Some students develop lifelong mentoring relationships and friendships with their faculty members.

However, for many students, making that first move to get to know a professor can be intimidating.  If the student needs to talk to the professor because he is having difficulty in a class, has missed a class (or several classes), or needs to discuss a grade, that initial meeting may be downright terrifying.  Because today’s students are part of the “electronic generation,” meeting face-to-face with a professor may also be an unfamiliar situation.  Your student might prefer to have a discussion via Facebook, e-mail, text, or Twitter.  Help your student understand that there are some circumstances in which a face-to-face conversation may be preferable.

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Spring Break Warnings . . . For College Parents

Spring break is just around the corner and college students everywhere are preparing for a much needed change of pace.  For some students that change may simply be a week of rest and a chance to catch up with friends.  Other students may be using the time to work to supplement their cash flow for the second half of the semester.  But for many students Spring Break is synonymous with travel.

If your college student is headed to warmer climes over break, especially if he is heading to one of the more popular student destinations, we hope that you’ve already had some conversations about staying safe.  As a parent, you may be entirely comfortable with your student’s plans, or you may worry about this significant “letting go” experience.  Unfortunately, many scammers understand your fears and are ready to prey on them.

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