In this, our first episode of Season 4, we begin a 3-part series about what we’re seeing in our students who spent their final high school years during the Covid-19 pandemic. Vicki and Lynn share student survey information and observations of their first-year students both in and outside of the classroom. Not only are students experiencing rising depression and anxiety, we also see students with academic learning gaps, engagement and social challenges, difficulty following through on work, and greater reliance on parents. We’ll continue examining Pandemic Fallout in our next episode when we consider what has caused these issues and why they matter and finally in Part 3, we’ll talk about how parents can help student overcome these problems.
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This is the first episode in our fourth season of the College Parent Central podcast! We can hardly believe it!
If you’re new to our podcast, we encourage you go back and check out our earlier episodes. We’re sure you’ll find information there that will be helpful. (And always, if you have ideas for future topics you’d like to hear about, leave a comment below or send us an email. We welcome your ideas!)
To begin this episode we shared some small changes we’re making in this season. We’ll take some bigger topics and dedicate two or three episodes so we can dig a little deeper into some of these important topics and give you time to process what you hear. Of course, we’ll continue bringing you interviews from experts in the field of college success and college parenting. A new feature will be our “What’s the Problem? episodes where we identify and talk about some of the issues we’re seeing in our students and what parents might do to help their student overcome them. Finally, we’re introducing a virtual book group for a couple of essential college parenting books. We hope you’ll read along with us and send us your thoughts and questions so we can include your viewpoints as well.
In the bulk of the episode we turned to the topic of Pandemic Fallout and talked about some of the issues that we see in the classroom that appear to be the result of our current students having spent so much of their high school time learning remotely or in hybrid classes. We’re sharing some of what we see every day.
Vicki shared some of the information gathered from a small survey of her students where she asked students about their high school experiences during the pandemic. Students told us how much they struggled with motivation, how it didn’t feel like school and they didn’t feel challenged by the work or the workload. It was appropriate to give students a break, but it took its toll and students largely didn’t feel productive. Students also shared that their senior year might have been more “normal” in the classroom, but they felt the impacts socially and in their ability to make friends.
One of the things we’ve observed and also read about is that current students seem to feel closer to their parents and less connected to their friends as a result of the pandemic. Parents seem to be more involved with their students and students more reliant on their parents.
We shared some surprising statistics about current college students from a survey done by BestColleges.com. These stats support what we’re seeing – greater reliance on parents, greater mental health issues, learning gaps, and difficulty following through. It makes “doing college” much more difficult.
In our next episode we’ll be addressing what has caused some of these issues and why these challenges matter for student success. In the final part of this discussion we’ll talk about what parents can do to help their student overcome some of their challenges. We hope you’ll join us for these discussions as well.
If you’d like to follow up with some information on related topics, check out these earlier episodes:
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