The Summer Before College: A Time for Conversations, Decisions, Questions and Skills

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.

Five Conversations Parents and Students Should Have Before the First Year of College

Five More Conversations Starters for Parents and Students Before the First Year of College



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.

Eight Decisions You and Your College Student Should Make Before College Begins

A Summer of Decisions: Academic Decisions

A Summer of Decisions: Student Life Decisions

A Summer of Decisions: Financial Decisions



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.

How Eight Questions Can Help Your Student Reflect — And Help You Know Your Student Better

Is Your Student Heading to College for the Right Reasons?



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.

 8 Life Skills You Should Teach Your Freshman Before He Heads to College

12 Topics Parents Should Cover to Help Students Gain Financial Literacy

Soft Skills, Strong Success: Fifteen Skills for College Readiness


Related Posts:

How to Help Your College Student Use the Summer Months Wisely

Summer Homework for College Parents

Why Summer Orientation Is Important for Your College Freshman




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3 thoughts on “The Summer Before College: A Time for Conversations, Decisions, Questions and Skills”

  1. Hope you have a great car trip. Time spent in the car is often wonderful “talk” time. Hope you then both have good “cross country” experiences!

  2. How did you read my mind?! Thanks for the conversation starters; that’ll give us some prompts as we begin the long drive in two days. After we get our daughter settled in, she begins cross country and we return cross country to home!


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