Looking Back to Move Forward: 2023 at College Parent Central

It’s that time of year again when just about everyone, every publication, organization and media outlet is doing a “Year in Review” or “Best Of.” Reflecting is always a good exercise before moving forward – and the New Year is all about moving forward! Looking at how we’ve come to where we are often helps us set some goals and find our direction.

So before we look ahead, make plans, make resolutions we probably won’t keep, or set goals for 2024, we’d like to take a moment to look back at 2023.

We invite you to take a few minutes to reflect with us, and to think about how you view your role as a college parent. How have you grown into the role over the past year or how have you prepared for the role?  Where might you and your college student go next year?

We continue to grow

Numbers certainly don’t tell the whole story, but sometimes they’re a reasonable place to start.

We’ve added 57 new articles to College Parent Central this year. We now have 888 articles available! That’s a lot of information! Whatever your question, concern, or interest is, we may have something that will help. If you’re new to the college parent role, or new to College Parent Central, take some time to browse our topics, or use the search bar to go directly to the topic you need.

Here are some suggestions to get you started.

It’s difficult to choose favorites, but here are my top seven favorite new articles from this year. Some of them take a new spin on some standard topics and others may be about topics you haven’t yet thought of.

Deflecting the Q & A of the Holiday Dinner Table

Rising College Sophomore? Here’s What You Need to Discuss with Your Student

Moving from College Into Career: Is Your Student Ready?

Help Your College Grad Feel Better About Moving Back Home

Helping Your College Student Control the Overwhelm

How Your Student Can Help Their Professors Do Their Job

Do You Have a Word for 2023?

And here are the most visited articles in the past year. This clearly shows that some topics don’t lose interest over time.

As We Send Them Off – – and Let Them Go: 25 Quotes to Guide You

What to Do When Your College Student Doesn’t Call

The Culture Shock of Adjusting to College

Is Your College Student Investing Enough Time Studying?

Should My College Student Consider Retaking a Course?

Should My College Student Come Home for Weekends?

Still podcasting . . .

We’ve also added 23 new podcast episodes over the past year, including seven interviews with some of the best informed experts in their fields. This year’s interviews have covered topics such as mental health, learning disabilities, gap years, admission visits, sexual assault, finances and merit aid, and even a novel about college admissions. We also celebrated our 100th episode!  Check out our full list of all 100 episodes to find what speaks to you.

We looked at the most listened-to episodes this year and there was a wide range. Supporting our college students – whether preparing or transitioning to college or supporting them when they struggle are concerns we all share. Here are the top seven most in-demand episodes, including some of our earliest episodes ever!

#005 – Communicating with Your College Student (Season 1)

#007 – Second Semester of College: The Transition No One Talks About (Season 1)

#094 – What to Do When (If) Your College Student Is Homesick (Season 4)

#004 – Here We Go! It’s Final Exam Time! (Season 1)

#093 – Move-In Day Is Finally Here! (Season 4)

#045 – Transitioning from Summer to College: The Importance of the First Six Weeks (Season 2)

#009 – The Importance of Anticipating the Key Differences Between High School and College (Season 1)

Looking ahead . . .

Looking back is important – because it helps us move ahead. As we reflect on the past year, we’re also thinking about where we’re going in the future – at least the near future of 2024.

First of all, we want to continue what we’ve always done. We want to continue to provide as much information and insight as we can to help you prepare and support your student and to find and understand your role as college parent.

So what’s ahead?

  • We will continue share what we’re seeing on the front lines. We’re college parents here at College Parent Central, but we’re also educators out in the field of higher education. We see and hear from our students every day what the struggles are. We want to help you understand what we see so you can better support and guide your student.
  • Some of what we do will depend on you. We want to know the topics you want to hear more about, the guests you like to hear from, and the questions you’re struggling with. We do what we do to help you – and we need to know what help you need. Please leave us a comment below or send us an email (vnelson@collegeparentcentral.com) and let us know what you’d like to hear or read about. What information/support do you need to prepare and support your student?
  • We’re planning some exciting changes to the podcast as we’re joined by two new cohosts. We’ll continue to bring the same information and guest interviews we’ve always shared, but we’ll be joined by two new voices – Elizabeth Hamblet, a Learning Disabilities Specialist, and Sarah Shane, Director of Advising and Academic Success. Listen to our latest podcast episode to learn more.
  • We also hope to focus even more on how to use the high school years to help ready your student for college. Success – and college parenting – begins well before your student enters college. We’ll share more about what we see in current students and how to make sure your student is ready-to-go.
  • Finally, we’d love to meet you in person. While we write and share our thoughts on the website and in our podcast, we think there’s nothing like the conversations we can have in person. If you’d like to have us visit your school, church, or work group – or just a group of your friends, contact us (vnelson@collegeparentcentral.com) and let’s talk about the possibilities. Find out more about what we can share with your group on our Workshops page.

And so we come to the end of 2023. We hope this has been a good year for you and for your student. Many students are still recovering from their Covid educational experiences. Students are different because of the experience – and so are we all, but we all get a little better every day.

Some things don’t change and continue to hold true. We love our children and we want the best for them. We want to support them and many of us need help understanding how to do that best.

We’re here for you as you enter and move through this journey.

As we bid farewell to 2023, here’s to 2024!

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