Senior year is a stressful and tricky year for high school students. They face the final stages of the college application process, then the w-a-i-t-i-n-g that seems interminable, and there’s the final decision to be made. All the while, students are told to keep their grades up so colleges won’t change their mind and so students will be ready for the academic work of college.
But if your senior wants to be successful in college, there’s more work to be done than meets the eye – and many students and their parents may not realize all that they should be doing. Academic preparation is essential, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Many students come to college well prepared academically yet they struggle through the first year, not because the coursework is too hard, but because they suddenly need to cope with all of life. They may have taken for granted all that is involved in managing their day-to-day life; never considered, or never mastered those skills.
How do parents fit in?
Many high schools don’t address the life skills that student need to succeed. Parents can help students use the senior year to learn to manage their lives well – leaving them energy and time to focus on their academic work. It’s a gradual process, of course. Don’t present your student with a list at the beginning of senior year – remember that he’s probably already feeling overwhelmed. But slip some of these skills in as the year goes along – and then take time at the end of the year to remind your student how prepared he now is to manage not only his schoolwork, but himself.