When you do something once, it is interesting. When you do it for the seventh year, there’s no denying the fact that it has become a tradition.
Right now, we’re in 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. Reflection is always a good exercise.
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 student go next year?
Something new this year!
The biggest development for College Parent Central this year is the launching of our new podcast! We’re so excited to be headed into 2020 sharing our observations, thoughts and suggestions through this new (to us) format! We hope we will be able to reach parents who may not have yet discovered the College Parent Central website.
I’m joined in the podcast by my colleague, Lynn Abrahams. Lynn is a learning disabilities specialist and she brings an important perspective to our discussions. But Lynn is also a parent who has sent her sons to college. Both Lynn and I love blending our perspectives as higher education professionals and parents. We hope you find our discussions valuable.
You can find all of our previous episodes on the website or wherever you listen to podcasts. Look for new episodes twice each month (on first and third Wednesdays) throughout the new year. Please join us!
A difficult year for college admissions
It isn’t possible to reflect on 2019 without addressing the admissions scandal known as ”Operation Varsity Blues.” Parents paid enormous sums of money to have their students fraudulently admitted to elite colleges. They doctored test scores, bribed consultants, coaches and admissions staff. This scandal shined a light on a host of problems, some illegal and many unethical or at least unfair.
At College Parent Central, we believe that most parents want the best for their students, although many of us struggle to know exactly what that is and how we can best help our student find that path. We believe that most parents want to ethically and appropriately find ways to support their students to achieve and succeed. We believe that most parents hope that the college years will not be entirely a letting go experience, but rather one that strengthens their relationship with their student — in spite of the changes in that relationship.
As outrageous as the Varsity Blues scandal was, it confirmed for us that parents want, and need, guidance about college life and how best to support their students. It confirmed for us that we do matters.
New topics for 2019
Although the basic guiding principles for College Parent Central haven’t changed over ten years since we began, we continue to explore new and important topics. We hope you’ve had a chance to read many of our 2019 articles and that each one helps you with some aspect of your college parenting role.
Here are a few of our personal favorites from 2019.
Does Your Student Have a Case of the Junior Jitters?
Sophomore Conversations: Settling in to College Life
The Antidote to Operation Varsity Blues Parenting
Addressing College Freshman Fears Requires Action
Parenting Student with Learning Differences: Dealing with Our Own Anxiety
Beyond Parents Weekend: Why College Parent Engagement Matters
Tread Lightly, But Be Present: Supporting Your Student Through the Stressful End of the Semester
5 Situations That May Be Paralyzing Your College Student Right Now
Popular topics haven’t changed
Just as things change from year to year, some things remain the same. As we looked at our most popular articles this past year, we realized that most of these topics have remained on our list of ”most visited” articles throughout College Parent Central’s ten years of sharing information.
Should My College Student Consider Withdrawing from a Class?
What to Do If Your Student Is Academically Dismissed from College
Should My Student Consider Retaking a Course?
What to Do If Your College Student Is On Academic Probation
Is Your College Student Investing Enough Time Studying?
And so the year winds down . . .
We’ve covered a range of topics this year and we are now approaching nearly 700 articles on the College Parent Central website. Most of these don’t go out of date. Good parenting is timeless. We have five podcasts for your listening pleasure and more on the way every month. We’re over ten years into this journey and it still feels as though there is so much more to think about and share about this new phase of parenting.
Take a few moments at this time of year 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 — and asking them for theirs. It might begin an interesting conversation.
And speaking of conversations, we’d love to hear from you. You can reach us through the Contact page (use the About tab at the top of the page). Let us know what you’d like to hear about on the podcast or read about on College Parent Central. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for more information each month. Join the conversation on Twitter (@CollParCentral). Or leave your thoughts in a comment below.
Happy Parenting! And Happy New Year!