Holiday Gift Ideas for College Students — 2012

Whether you’re anxious to get out to the stores to shop or plan to shop online this year, we’ve got some suggestions for your college student or soon-to-be college student.  We hope you find these suggestions fun and that they help you start to do some of your own creative thinking.

We’ve offered some suggestions in previous years as well.  Be sure to check out these additional recommendations.

You might also find the following useful:

Here are some suggestions for your college student for the 2012 holiday season.

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The Advantages of a Phone Conversation With Your College Student

According to a study conducted by researchers at Ball State University, 99.8% of college students own cell phones and the number of smartphones is increasing.  That’s a lot of phones.  But the majority of students use their phones, not for phone calls, but for text messaging.  94% of students say they text every day while only 73% say they make phone calls every day.  According to another study, conducted by the Pew Foundation, 18-29 years olds text an average of 109.5 times per day, or more than 3200 texts per month.  But college students are not entirely alone.  The use of text messaging among 45-54 year olds has increased by 75% and 31% of adults prefer texts to phone calls.

So cell phones are everywhere — and they are being used for texting more than for phone calls.  Texting certainly has many advantages in many situations.  Texting is quick — no need for niceties, texting can be thoughtful because there is time to think and edit before replying, texting is practical and transactional, texting can wait for a convenient time and doesn’t interrupt anyone unless that person chooses to read it.

So why, then, should you bother to call your college student?

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Book Review: College Bound and Gagged

There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  We’ve offered some lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. Check out our Resources and Tools page for suggestions.

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.

In this review we’re taking a look at the book College Bound and Gagged: How to Help Your Kid Get into a Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind by Nancy Berk.  This book manages to find the combination of a lighthearted look at the college process and serious advice that will make the process more manageable.

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Why Your College Transfer Student Needs Your Support

According to both the Department of Education and the National Association of College Admissions Counselors, nearly 60% of college students will start and end their college careers at different schools.  That is a lot of transfer students.  If your student is one of these transfer students, he may need your support more than ever.

Some college students have no choice but to transfer.  They attend a 2-year institution and then move on to complete their degree at another school.  Other students make the decision to transfer to another school on their own.  Your transfer student is making another transition and is, in some ways, much like a new first-year student only wiser.  Your transfer student has learned something from their experience in college and can take advantage of that knowledge while still experiencing a clean slate at a new school.

The college transfer process may not be easy.  It takes time and energy, requires adjustments, requires understanding of the transfer process and may require extra time from your student to complete their degree.  Your student will be most successful if they knows themselves well, understands their strengths, challenges and passions, and evaluates their reasons for the transfer.  According to the 2009 National Survey of Student Engagement, transfer students may be less ”engaged” in high impact activities such as study abroad, internships, research, or capstone experiences, so your student may need you to remind them to seek out these opportunities.

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Why Your College Student Needs to Do Something for Someone Right Now

Although colleges and universities have different schedules, for many college students early November is past the mid-point in the semester, but there are still a few weeks of study remaining.  Thanksgiving break is looming, but it isn’t quite here yet.  Finals are on the horizon.  Winter break still seems a long way off, but for many students the prospect of being at home for several weeks comes with its own stress.

This is a time of semester, for some students, of turning inward.  There is nothing wrong with this.  For some students, this is a time of self-examination — ”Am I studying enough?”  ”Will I have the final grades I had hoped for?”  ”What will it be like when I get back together with my high school friends?”  ”What will it be like living with my family again over break?” ”Am I in the correct major for me?”  ”Will I be able to get the courses that I want next semester?” Self-examination is almost always a good thing, and parents may want to encourage their college student to think about some of these issues.  But these questions bring stress for many students.

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College Lingo for College Parents: Talk the Talk — Part 6

Every profession, activity, or area of interest has its own jargon or set of specialized vocabulary.  College is no different.  College administrators, faculty members and students develop a set of short-hand terms that can be confusing to those not familiar with them.  As a college parent, you may be surprised at how quickly your college student will pick up the appropriate lingo.

If your college student slips into ”college-speak” and you don’t understand what she is talking about — ask!  She may express impatience, but she’ll probably explain.  However, if you want to be able to at least begin to talk-the-talk, here are five terms to get you started.  Please remember that there may be some variation in the use of these terms at various institutions.

 We’ve written five earlier posts about some of the college vocabulary that might be helpful for you to know. Be sure to check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.  It’s been a while since we’ve added an installment, so here are a few more terms.

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