#114 – Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable: A Conversation with Author Harlan Cohen

Vicki and Elizabeth had a wide-ranging conversation with Harlan Cohen, college transition expert and author of The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into In College. Harlan shared why the transition to college can be so difficult and why finding your People, your Places, and having Patience can make a difference. Harlan encourages parents – and students – to understand that the first year of college, or at least the first semester, may be a terrible mess. Although that may not sound very positive, you’ll want to hear Harlan explain how that knowledge can be freeing and help students find their direction.

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If you have a student going to college, then you want to hear this podcast. We were joined by author Harlan Cohen, whose book The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issus You Might Run Into in College, has been a staple for college students and their parents for years. It’s a book your student will enjoy reading and one that will also give you valuable information and insight into your student’s life at college.

Harlan talked about the build-up to college and how difficult that transition can be for so many students and how so many parents don’t have the information they need to support their students. Understanding what is coming will help that transition go more smoothly.

Harlan’s acronym for the changes that students will encounter is SEPFA – social, emotional, physical, financial, academic. It’s a big change! Learning how to expect to be uncomfortable, cope with uncomfortable situations, and giving yourself permission to be uncomfortable is key.

Harlan also shared with us the three “P’s” that can help students with transitions – People, Places, and Patience. Finding the people on campus who can help, the places where you fit in, and having the patience to work through transition is essential. We all admit that sometimes the patience piece is the hardest for parents. Students are not the only ones who need their People and Places. Parents need to remember that this is a transitional time for parents as well.

Harlan also shared information about his new coaching program, Best First Year, that is designed to help students work through the transition issues that can arise during this first, sometimes tumultuous, semester.

Rejection is not something most of us think of as positive, but Harlan explained his Universal Rejection Truth and why he is obsessed with rejection and helping students get past feelings of shame when things don’t go well.  Parents can help students think about what they want and how to go about creating a plan to achieve their goals. He also shared why every student needs someone other than their parents with whom they can talk frankly.

If you’d like more information, check out our review of Harlan’s book The Naked Roommate for Parents Only or go to his website to learn more about Harlan, his Best Year Year program and his new book Win or Learn.

Book Review: The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only

Don’t forget that you can listen to all of our previous podcast episodes here or subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also go to followthepodcast.com/collegeparentcentral to add our podcast (it’s free!) so that you’ll receive each new episode as we release it.

Let us know what you’d like to hear about on future podcasts! Leave a comment below or email us at podcast@collegeparentcentral.com.


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