The College Parent Central Year in Review – 2018

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 6 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 a bit of time to look back at 2018.

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?

Important themes

We shared 44 articles in 2018.  We hope they spoke to issues and ideas that are important to you.  But although some topics evolve from year to year, our most popular articles haven’t changed in the ten years that we have been writing.  Parents continue to seek information most when their student is having difficulty.

If you’re a parent with a struggling student, we hope you’ve noticed our ”When There’s Trouble” tab at the top of the website.  We’ve tried to make it easier for you to find the help that you need. This will lead you to a list of what we hope are helpful articles as you work to support your student.

Important articles

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 few 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. We’re recognizing that the work starts earlier than the beginning of college.  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 prepare and support their students.  We hope we can help inform that discussion.

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. So, although it’s difficult to pick favorites (it’s a little like choosing a favorite child), we’re going to take the leap and do it.  If you missed them the first time around, take a few minutes to consider them now.

These are our five top favorite topics for 2018

When Your College Student’s Class Isn’t Going Well

Undecided, Undeclared, Open, Exploring: Your College Student’s Search for a Major

15 Tips to Help You and Your Student Cope with Change

When Your College Senior Hates Her Major 

Ten Reasons Why Your Student May Have a Case of the ”Second Semester Blues”

In Others’ Words

You don’t need to rely totally on us for advice.  When we began College Parent Central nearly ten years ago (Yikes!) there were only a handful of books giving advice to parents of college students. Recently, more and more important literature has entered the scene.  Again, it’s difficult to choose, but here are a few of our most recent favorites for valuable advice about the world of college and about raising and supporting successful students.

And so the year winds down . . .

We’ve covered a range of topics this year, and over 600 articles and nearly ten 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 — and as the college world continues to change.  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.  How have you and your student grown?  What are your highlights?  What’s ahead? Then, consider sharing these thoughts with your student.  It might begin an interesting conversation.

And speaking of conversations, we’d love to hear from you.  You can reach out through our Contact Page (under the About tab), join us on Twitter, or sign up for our regular monthly newsletter.  Let us know what you’d like to hear about.

Feel free to share reflections and thoughts in the comments below, including ideas for new topics in 2019.

Happy New Year!


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