Information for the parents of college students
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Posts from — November 2014

College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

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November 28, 2014   No Comments

Returning Home from College: Reverse Culture Shock

In our last post, we discussed the culture shock that often occurs when students head to college.  Some students, and their parents, may not be prepared for the roller coaster ride as students become acclimated to their new environment.  Knowing that the ups and downs that students experience are normal will help everyone.

Once your student has made the transition to school and begun to feel comfortable in his new “culture” of college, both you and he may feel that the transition is complete.  However, an important stage remains – returning home again.  Whether the return is relatively brief – for winter break or summer vacation perhaps – or whether it is a more permanent move back home, you and your student should be prepared for potential re-entry awkwardness and difficulties.  Once again, however, the process is normal.  Understanding it may help.

The reverse culture shock of returning home may take your student by surprise because it is unexpected and because he doesn’t realize how much both he, and you, have changed during the transition time.  This second transition process may be especially difficult because it is unexpected.

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November 13, 2014   1 Comment

The Culture Shock of Adjusting to College

Adjusting to college life is often harder than most first year students and their parents anticipate.  Students know that life at college is going to be different, and they are excited, and perhaps a bit anxious, about starting their adventure.  But it’s difficult to anticipate how different life may be when you don’t exactly know what to expect.  College is, for many students, a foreign culture.

Most students don’t equate entering college to entering a different culture.  When we talk about culture, we often refer to those things that we do and accept without really thinking about them: our way of life.  We have expectations, values, ways of talking, eating, behaving, relating to each other, and even thinking – but we don’t give these things any conscious thought most of the time.  When your student heads to college, she may need to think consciously about how she manages much of her daily life.  She needs to adjust – and that adjustment will come gradually.

Making the cultural adjustment

Most students make the adjustment to college life eventually.  However, each student may adjust according to a different timetable.  Some students may find that the adjustment comes fairly easily – they hardly realize that it is happening.  Other students find the process difficult, slow, and even painful at times.  However, the stages of cultural adjustment are similar for most everyone.  If you’ve ever spent a significant amount of time in a foreign country, you may have experienced these phases yourself.

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November 10, 2014   No Comments

Shaking Up the Nest: When Your College Student Comes Home for Break

Your student has been away at school for several weeks or months and it’s finally time for him to return home for a holiday break. You’re excited to see him and can’t wait to catch up on his life at college. You’ve planned his favorite meals and anticipate finally spending some quality time with him. You’ve survived the empty nest, but you’re looking forward to filling it up again – at least for a little while.

What you may not realize, however, is how much you’ve adjusted to that empty nest. It seemed so quiet and empty in those first days after you dropped your student off at school. But now you’ve had time to get used to the quiet – and you may not even realize it. You’ve adjusted to fewer dirty dishes, less laundry, and turning out the lights when you go to bed because no one else is coming home later.

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November 6, 2014   No Comments

Has Your College Student Gotten a Flu Shot?

Chances are good that your college student may not have done the one thing that could make a difference in her health this winter – get a flu shot. Because college students live so closely together in residence halls, once the flu begins, it can spread quickly throughout a campus. Yet according to a study done by Janet Yang at the University of Buffalo, (as reported by Huffington Post) only about 8 percent of college students received a flu shot in a recent year.

Why do college students skip this seemingly simply solution?

One reason students may not be getting vaccinated is because they know that they are not in the groups that are at highest risk of death or other serious consequences from flu. Students may also not be thinking about the seriousness of flu because it is an annual disease and we hear about it every year. Students have stopped paying attention – or never really paid attention to messages in the first place.

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November 3, 2014   No Comments