Reviewing Our Year at College Parent Central – 2021

Here at College Parent Central, we do a brief look back every December to review our year. Looking back gives us some perspective to think about our goals and plans for the New Year. Reflection is always a good exercise.

Last year, at the end of 2020, we all hoped that we were putting our difficult Covid lives behind us. Things have improved in many areas by now, but we appear to still be in the middle of pandemic uncertainties. It’s hard to say what ”normal” is these days.

But this year many of us will be able to spend time with families and be able to resume some of our favorite traditions. We hope this is true for you and your family.

We kept busy

Despite the difficulties of the past two years, 2021 was another busy year at College Parent Central.

We now have 775 articles with helpful information for parents. Be sure to take time to look through our archives. You can use the tabs at the top of the website pages to find the topics you need most. We published 57 new articles this year that include show notes for our podcast episodes and our monthly News and Views that gather current items of interest from other sources. If you can’t find information about a particular topic, send us an email and we’ll try to cover it in a future article.

Among our 2021 articles are seven new book reviews. We now have nearly sixty book reviews available to help you sort through all the good resources out there. (You can check out our full book list here, including our favorite recommendations.)  Among the reviews for this year are books by three authors whose previous books we also recommend. If you only have time for a little reading, we recommend books by Jessica Lahey, Julie Lythcott Haims, and Jeffrey Selingo.

We’re still excited about our podcast, which began in the fall of 2019. Our latest episode reviewed our podcast year (yes, we like to look back at this time of year). We added 24 new episodes this year, including 8 information-packed interviews.

Looking ahead

If the past year has taught us anything, it is to be cautious about predicting what lies ahead. But at this time of year, it’s natural to look at the year ahead — and we do so with some optimism.

We plan to continue to bring you consistent, informative articles and podcast episodes, but we need your help. Please leave a comment below or send us an email and let us know what information you wish you had. Your suggestions will help direct us to our future topics.

As we look at some of the themes that are bubbling up for college students and their families, they aren’t really new. Several were in our sights as much as five years ago, and they are still important issues to be addressed in 2022.

One of the primary issues we all need to grapple with is student mental health. This has been exacerbated by the pandemic that just won’t quit and is a continuing challenge for so many students. We also recognize the need for all of us to consider students’ readiness for college. Readiness includes academic issues, but also the ability to face life issues with hope, accountability, self-advocacy, and resilience. You’ll be hearing more from us about this topic in the future. And finally, two additional issues on all our minds are growing student loan debt and the look of higher education post-pandemic.

That’s a lot to think about, and all of it will require the work of college representatives, students, and families. College Parent Central will do whatever we can to help move those conversations ahead.

And so the year winds down . . .

One of our fervent hopes for next year is to hear more parent voices. We’d like to know what you need, and we’d love to hear your stories of college parenting — whether those are stories of struggle or success. You can reach out through our Contact Page, find us on Twitter (@CollParCentral), leave a comment below, or sign up for our free monthly newsletter. Let us know what’s on your mind.

We may have a few new ideas up our sleeves for 2022, but they’re still in the planning stages so we’re not ready to let the proverbial ”cat out of the bag” yet. This is, after all, the time of year to dream.

Stay tuned . . .

We hope you’ll have time to 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 and difficulties? What’s ahead? Be sure to share with your student — and ask for their thoughts as well.

We wish you a Happy — and Healthy — New Year in 2022!

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