It is the summer before your student heads off for freshman year of college. The applications were done months ago, the long wait for acceptance is over, the final decision made, the deposit paid. You know this is an important time, but beyond all of the shopping for extra-long sheets and storage containers and writing that tuition check, you feel there is something you should be doing, but you’re not sure what. Your student is busy saying the long goodbye to high school friends, connecting with new friends on Facebook, and conspicuously not packing yet, but you’re at a loss.
If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. You’ve been focused for so long on this moment, and yet it’s not clear what you need to be doing. Perhaps it’s not so much what you are doing as the importance of your job of talking to your student to help him make some important summer decisions. There are a lot of topics to be covered, but hopefully, these are continuations of conversations you’ve already started.
As you think about using this summer to help your student get started on the right foot, here are some posts that we think will point you toward some of those important topics of conversation and important decisions your student must face.
The process of heading off to college – both for your student and for you – is filled with expectations. One roadblock, however, may be that your expectations and your student’s expectations may not be the same. Using the summer months for some frank and open talk about expectations will clear the air – and possibly avoid difficult situations later when you realize that you, or she, made some assumptions.
There are more decisions that should be made before college begins than most students, or their parents, realize. Of course, not every one of these decisions must be made this summer, but the more conversation you and your student can have around these issues, the better the chances that the fall semester will go smoothly.
Sometimes, it’s not just what you say, but what you ask. Spend some time with your student and some of the questions that may lead your student to think about what is important to her.
You’ve talked, decided, asked questions. Finally, here are a few skills to be sure that your student has before you send her out the door.