Information for the parents of college students
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Posts from — July 2013

Service and Therapy Animals on College Campuses

If your college student relies on a service animal for assistance with a disability, the prospect of going to college, especially if it involves living on campus, comes with extra complexities.  Your student may be concerned about whether her service animal will be able to live in the residence hall with her.

Fortunately, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, your student should have no problem bringing her service animal to college with her.  The law defines a service animal as any dog (or other animal) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.  The tasks that the animal performs must be related to the student’s disability, and can include a wide variety of services, such as assisting the blind, alerting individuals who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, or retrieving items. Service animals may also perform tasks such as recognizing and assisting during seizures.

Service animals do not necessarily need certification, although your student may need a letter from a doctor stating the need for the animal.  They must be harnessed, leashed, tethered or under strict control.

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July 25, 2013   No Comments

Senior Summer: A Roller Coaster of Mixed Emotions

The summer before the first year of college.  It is an interesting summer – for both parents and students.  There is the anticipation and excitement – but that is coupled with stress, nerves, and the emotions of leaving home and friends behind.  Parents need to be especially patient – both with themselves and with their students – as everyone navigates this new territory.

In our last post, we discussed the in-between nature of this summer for both students and parents. In this post, we look at some of the concerns that often cause stress for students as they anticipate the launch to college.

The myth

Part of the reason that this summer may be difficult is the myth that it is all about the accomplishment and the excitement.  The application and admissions process is finally over and your student is in!  It’s a tremendous accomplishment.  For years, everything has been focused on this next goal.  A whole new world awaits, and it is going to be wonderful. This is going to be a stress-free, relaxed last summer at home.  This is a “summer to remember.”  The build-up to this summer has been monumental.

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July 22, 2013   No Comments

Senior Summer: Why Your Almost College Student May Feel Homeless this Summer

The summer before the first year of college.  It is an interesting summer – for both parents and students.  There is the anticipation and excitement – but that is coupled with stress, nerves, and the emotions of leaving home and friends behind.  Parents need to be especially patient – both with themselves and with their students – as you both navigate this new territory.

One of the characteristics of this summer before college is that feeling of in-between that most high school graduates/not yet college freshmen feel.  They are of both worlds, yet not really of either.  It is a strange, somewhat homeless feeling for many students.

No longer high school

It is likely that for much of the last year of high school your senior couldn’t wait to be done.  The focus for several years has been on getting into college – the grades, the activities, the college visits, the applications, the acceptance,  the decision.  Once the goal of college admission was accomplished, many students settled into a few weeks, or months, of senioritis – finishing out the year.

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July 15, 2013   No Comments

8 Summer Reading Recommendations for College Parents

For many people, the pace of life in the summer slows a bit.  There may be more time for some of the activities we can’t fit in during the year.  For many, there may finally be more time for a good read – perhaps even beach reading!  For college parents, or almost college parents, this may be an ideal time to do a little reading about what to expect when your student heads off.  You know that your parenting job isn’t done – but it will definitely change.  These titles will help you know what to expect.

We’ve published several reading lists of books for parents.  (See the end of this post for links to those lists.)  We recommend that you take time to browse the lists and find some titles that intrigue you.  We’ve also published several reviews which might help you make some choices. The books are varied in information and approach and we’re sure you’ll find something helpful.

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July 11, 2013   No Comments

Considering a Pet Friendly College?

Is your college student considering owning a pet while in college?

As your soon-to-be college student considers the transition to college, the thought of leaving the family pet behind may be devastating.  In most families, the family pet will need to stay with the family.  But if your student is considering either taking her pet along or getting a new pet, she will need to carefully investigate college policy regarding pets in the residence halls and also the realities of pet responsibility.

Are pets at college OK?

The short answer to this question is . . . it depends.

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July 8, 2013   No Comments

Why College?

Why is your student going to college?

Does that question take you by surprise?  Have you asked your student this question?  The question may take both parents and students by surprise because we don’t ask it often enough.  Many students head to college because it is what students do after high school.  It is what all of their friends are doing.  It is what everyone has expected of them for as long as they can remember.

We are not suggesting that your student should not be headed to college.  However, if you haven’t asked your student the question, it might be a good thing to do.  It is important to know where we are headed, but also important to know why we are headed there.

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July 1, 2013   No Comments