It’s that time of year when we can’t quite decide whether to look backwards at the year that is just ending or to look ahead at the year about to begin. We probably need to do a little bit of both. Looking back gives us some perspective to look ahead and think about our goals and plans for the New Year based on where we’ve come.
For the past 5 years, we’ve taken time to share some of our reflections about the College Parent Central year just ending. We like the tradition and so we’re taking time to look back at 2017.
We invite you to take a few minutes to reflect with us, and to think about how you view your role as college parent. Are you just starting your journey? Have you grown into the role over the past year? Where might you and your college student go next year?
We shared 47 articles in 2017. We hope they spoke to issues and ideas that are important to college parents. But although some topics change and evolve from year to year, our most popular articles haven’t changed in the five years that we have been reflecting. Parents continue to seek information when their student is having difficulty.
If you’re a parent with a struggling student, we hope you’ve found our new ”When There’s Trouble” tab on the website. We’ve tried to make it easier for you to find the help that you need.
Important articles — by the month
It is difficult to choose our ”best” or ”most important” articles. (After all, if we didn’t think an issue was important, we wouldn’t bother writing about it.) And we can’t always measure the value of an article by the number of people who read it. We believe that providing just the right information for someone who needs it, at the time they need the help, is what makes an article valuable.
As we reflect, we have noticed an interesting, though unintentional, trend in our content in the past couple of years. While we continue to provide important information for parents about their overall college parent role, we are also publishing more articles about student success and what parents can do to help their student find that success. With growing concerns over student anxiety, college completion, and career preparation, parents are increasingly feeling the need to find better and more appropriate ways to support their students. We hope we can help inform that path.
As we look back over this past year, there are some articles of which we are particularly proud. We think they provide important insight – or at least food for thought. If you missed them the first time around, take a few minutes to consider them now.
We love to celebrate, so this year we’re celebrating two important milestones.
In November, we launched our new website. It was time to update our nearly nine-year-old site, and we’re pleased with our new look. We hope you find it easier to read, more mobile-friendly, and easier to navigate to find the information you need.
November also marked our introduction of new College Parent Central team member Lynn Abrahams, who will be contributing articles in the areas of students with learning differences and international students. We’re excited she’s willing to share her wisdom through College Parent Central.
And so the year winds down . . .
We’ve covered a range of topics this year, and nearly 600 articles and more than eight years into this journey, it still feels as though we’re just scratching the surface of college parenting. There’s much to think about for all of us as we experience this new phase of parenting. We hope that College Parent Central can help you understand your new job description and help to support you, and your student, on this new journey.
Take a few moments to reflect on your own college parent experience — no matter where you and your student are in the process. What highlights can you pinpoint each month during this past year? How have you and your student grown? Then, consider sharing these thoughts with your student. It might begin an interesting conversation.
Feel free to share reflections and thoughts in the comments below, including ideas for new topics in 2018.
Happy Holidays! And Happy 2018!