Information for the parents of college students
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Category — Just for Fun

‘Tis the Season – Holiday Gifts for Your College Student – 2016

It’s that time of year again.  Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday.  We’re thinking about family and friends and we’re thinking about gifts.  If you have a college student, or an about-to-be college student, you may be searching for some ideas for useful or fun gifts.

You know your student best, and can tap into interests and needs, but we’d like to offer some suggestions that may stimulate your imagination. We have some new suggestions for 2016, but we’ve offered some suggestions in the past.  Don’t stop with this post! Check out our earlier posts for additional suggestions – most are timeless and still good ideas.

Check out our ideas, and then let your own creativity take over!

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November 28, 2016   No Comments

Your College Freshman’s Worldview – The Beloit Mindset

As parents of traditional college age children, we know that our children live in a different world than we did.  Intellectually, we know that the world changes – ever faster – and that our children have grown up with many different experiences.  Sometimes, however, we forget – or just plain don’t realize – how different that world truly is.

Each year Beloit College releases The Beloit College Mindset List. Since the list was first published in 1998, in addition to providing college professors a chuckle, it has also proved to be an eye-opening look at “the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college” that year.  The list was originated by Beloit professor Tom McBride and Public Affairs Director Ron Nief as a reminder to faculty members that many references used in class might be outdated, but it has become a much more comprehensive look at the worldview of current college students.

We include here, for your consideration, amusement and possible consternation, a few of the items that are true for current college students. These are taken from the last two Mindset lists. So if your student was born in 1997 or 1998, consider some of the following.  (You may view the entire lists, by year, at www.beloit.edu/mindset.)

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September 19, 2016   No Comments

A New Year Means . . . New Resolutions, Of Course: Nine Activities for You and Your College Student

It’s that time of year.  Reflections and looking back at the year that is ending, and Hopeful Beginnings as we look ahead and plan for the year to come.  Sometimes resolutions seem silly – we probably won’t keep them anyway.  But making a few New Year’s resolutions means thinking about the year to come – and what we’d like it (or us) to be like.

So as we begin 2016, we’d like to offer some suggestions for your college parenting year.  Take a few minutes to read our suggestions from previous years at the end of this post as well.  Our hope is to give you lots to think about – and then you choose what makes sense to you, or even better, make up your own.

This year, we’d like to suggest nine activities to undertake with your college student (or soon-to-be college student.)  We do a lot of talking here at College Parent Central about communicating with your student. But communicating can sometimes more easily occur while you are doing something together.  And doing something together often brings surprising discoveries (not to mention lots of fun) as you work or play together.

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January 4, 2016   No Comments

Holiday Gifts for Your College Student – 2015

It’s that time of year again.  Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday.  We’re thinking about family and friends and we’re thinking about gifts.  If you have a college student, or an about-to-be college student, you may be searching for some ideas for useful or fun gifts.

Sometimes, finding just the right gift for your college student may be difficult.  You haven’t seen him in a while and you are less involved in his day-to-day life.  What does he need?  What can he use?

You know your student best, and can tap into his interests and needs, but we’d like to offer some suggestions that may stimulate your imagination.  We’re including some new ideas here, as well as some classic favorites from our lists from previous years.  Check out these ideas, and then let your own creativity take over!

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November 23, 2015   1 Comment

Parents: Write a Commencement Speech

‘Tis the season of graduations and commencements.  And if there are graduations and commencements, then there are certainly speeches.

Most graduation speakers, students and dignitaries alike, work hard to craft a message that is a little bit autobiographical, a little bit clever and humorous, a little bit thought-provoking, and delivers an important message about life.

In spite of the hard work that these speech writers put in to their speeches, most also know that not many in the room, or auditorium, or gym or on the quad, will be listening.  And of those who listen, only a small percentage will remember what was said.  When she delivered the Commencement address at Harvard University in 2008, author J. K. Rowling actually found comfort in the fact that probably no one would remember what she had to say.  It calmed her nerves.  Obviously, graduation speeches are lost on the graduates.

But graduations and commencements continue to feature speakers who deliver advice and proclaim values that could, indeed, become life changing – or at least life guiding.  And perhaps some of the people who benefit most from those speeches are the writers themselves.  It is no easy task to decide what single message you think will most benefit a group of young adults about to head to college or out into the world.

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May 18, 2015   No Comments

Holiday Gifts for Your College Student – 2014

Sometimes, coming up with just the right holiday gift for you college student may be difficult.  You haven’t seen her in a while and you may not be as sure what she needs.  Of course, you can almost never go wrong with a gift card, but if you’re looking for something a little more specific, we have a few suggestions.  Use these ideas to get your own creativity started.

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December 1, 2014   No Comments

What Are Our College Students Talking About?

Once your student heads off to college, staying in touch with his thinking and interests may be more difficult.  Yes, you may talk, e-mail, text, Skype or Facetime with your student, but often these conversations may be more of an opportunity to touch base and find out what’s happening in their lives.  We often spend less time talking about the world or local issues that may be on your student’s mind.

More issue-based conversation may or may not be something that you and your student are interested in, but one window into the some of the topics students think about comes from an informal poll taken by a communication researcher at Arizona State University.  This instructor polled other communication instructors around the nation about the “most overused speech topics” in their speech or communication classes.

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October 14, 2013   No Comments

Your College Student: The New Beloit Mindset List – Class of 2016

As parents of traditional college age children, we know that our children live in a different world.  Intellectually, we know that the world changes – ever faster – and that our children have grown up with many different experiences than we’ve had.  Sometimes, however, we forget – or just plain don’t realize – how different that world truly is.

Each year Beloit College releases The Beloit College Mindset List. Since the list was first published in 1998, in addition to providing college professors a chuckle, it has also proved to be an eye-opening look at “the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college” that year.  The list was originated by Beloit professor Tom McBride and Public Affairs Director Ron Nief as a reminder to faculty members that many references used in class might be outdated, but it has become a much more comprehensive look at the worldview of current college students.

We include here, for your consideration, amusement and possible consternation, a few of the items that are true for current college students in the class of 2016, most of whom were born in 1994.  (You may view the entire lists, by year, at www.beloit.edu/mindset.)  If you sometimes wonder why you feel as though you don’t know your college-age student, read on.

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September 17, 2012   No Comments

Happy Anniversary! College Parent Central Turns Three!

College Parent Central has just turned three!  College Parent Central launched on April 1, 2009 – somehow April Fool’s Day seemed appropriate for a venture whose future was unknown.  Three years later, we continue to believe more firmly than ever that college parents are an important part of student success.

After three years of writing about college parenting, talking to college parents, working with college students, and working and speaking with professional colleagues, we are humbled by how much there is to know, but we feel even more strongly that we have a place in helping parents.  We are grateful to those people who have shared their stories and wisdom and helped us as we continue to reach out to parents who find our information helpful.

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April 4, 2012   No Comments

Holiday Gifts and Stocking Stuffers for Your College Student

We’ve offered some suggestions for holiday gifts for your college student for the past two years.  We still think they are good, timeless suggestions.  Check out our previous posts for ideas for gift books for your college student and general holiday gifts for your student.

This year, we’d like to go smaller and offer some suggestions for stocking stuffers for your student.  Obviously, not all of these suggestions will be appropriate for all students.  Think about your student’s situation, interests, and progress in her college career.  Your freshman and your college senior will need and enjoy different things.  We’re sure you’ll find something on this list to spark your imagination.  Get creative!

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November 24, 2011   1 Comment