Managing Time, Managing Self: College Freshman Challenge — Part 1

College students are often told that these years will be ”the time of your life,” but they might also need to be reminded that there are still 168 hours in a week. Having the ”time of your life” means using those hours wisely, yet some studies have suggested that as many as 48% of college students struggle with time management. Why this disconnect?

One of the major differences between the high school years and college years is the increased amount of ”free time” that students experience. College students may lead much less structured lives than in high school and have more independence. ”Free time” means time that students need to plan and define for themselves.

Students will spend less time in class and also be faced with longer term, independent assignments. Additionally, many students are working long hours to try to pay for college tuition and expenses. Students who are unprepared for the challenge of balancing school, work, social life and downtime may find themselves floundering.

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What to Do This Summer to Be Ready for a Successful College Start

Once your student has been accepted to college, both you and she breathe a sigh of relief. The admissions ordeal is over. It’s time to relax a bit and enjoy the final part of senior year with all of the high school festivities taking place.

But once your student has walked across that high school graduation stage, the work of preparing for college begins. Although your student may very happily wait until the last minute to begin packing those boxes for the move to college, there are tasks that you and he should be undertaking now to be sure to be ready. These tasks may differ somewhat depending on your student and his school, but be sure to help him begin to focus on getting ready for the big move.

Take a look at some of our suggestions for getting started now – for college success in the fall.

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Getting to Know You: 15 Ways to Learn About a College

College admission.  It looms over students  — often from an early age.  There’s so much anticipation, excitement — and pressure – around college admissions that sometimes parents and their students may not know where to begin.  How to you find just the right college?  How do you know whether the match is a perfect one?

The first thing that students and their parents need to recognize is that there probably is no perfect match.  Current research is suggesting that success in college, as well as after college, may have less to do with where a student attends and more to do with the student’s experiences and attitude while in school.  This is important information and may help to relieve pressure on some students around finding the ”perfect” school.

As your student begins to explore colleges, a good place to begin is by thinking about what matters to them.  If they have an interest in a particular major, does that school have a good program in that area?  If they are an athlete, will they have an opportunity to play?  What extracurricular activities matter?  How important is location?  The hundreds of options will begin to narrow as your student begins to focus on the things that are important to them.

But how will your student get a real sense of each school?  There are many things that you and your student can do as part of the ”getting acquainted” process of exploring a particular school.  Here are 15 possibilities.  Some are obvious and others may be approaches you haven’t considered.  Use any or all of them to get a true picture of a school.

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Do You Have a Super Senior? Making the Most of the Fifth Year of College

To every parent their student is a ”super” kid, whether a senior or not.  But the term ”Super Senior” is not necessarily the term that parents hope to hear when referring to their college students.

What is a Super Senior?

Super Senior is the term sometimes used to refer to a student who is a college senior in the fifth, or sixth, year of college.  They have already been a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior — and are now a Super Senior — or fifth (or sixth) year college student. One study has suggested that only approximately 39% of students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years.  The Department of Education actually calculates a six year graduation rate, which comes closer to 59%.

So the term Super Senior is becoming increasingly common. But whether the numbers are accurate or not, or whether five or even six years is becoming the national average for completing a degree, if your student will be spending a fifth year in college, both you and your student should discuss the situation.


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