The Missing Piece in Many Student (and Parent) Orientations

Most students, and many parents, participate in an Orientation session (sometimes multiple days) at the beginning of the college journey. Colleges work hard to help students and parents understand what to expect, learn about resources, and be prepared for the road ahead.

But for many students and their families, there may be a missing (or under-emphasized) piece – information about campus sexual violence.

It’s a topic that makes many of us, especially as parents, uncomfortable. We don’t like to think about it, we assume it won’t be an issue for our student, and as long as it is at least touched upon during Orientation we assume and hope that is enough.

It may not be.


Fact: 1 in 4 female students, 1 in 15 male students, and 1 in 5 gender nonconforming students are sexually assaulted during their college year.

Fact: What experts refer to as “the red zone”, the time between the start of the fall semester through Thanksgiving break is a time when more than 50% of all college sexual assaults are statistically found to occur. This is the time of parties, Greek “rush” events and a time when first-year students are particularly vulnerable because of their unfamiliarity with the campus and lack of a strong on-campus support group.

Fact: More than 90% of these incidents are perpetrated by repeat offenders.

Fact: Less than 10% of sexual assaults are reported.

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Who’s In Charge on College Move-In Day?

It’s been a long road from that first dream of attending college, through the preparation, the applications, and the final decision. Then came the busy summer of getting ready, and now it’s finally here – Move-In Day!

Who’s in charge on college Move-in Day you may ask? The short answer is, “It’s not you.”

Amidst all of the hustle and bustle of the day, the seeming chaos and confusion, it may feel as though the most efficient thing you can do to help your student is to take charge and keep things moving in the right direction. This isn’t necessarily the best approach.

There are three players engaged in this move-in process – you, your student, and the college. So who’s in charge? First the college, then the student, – and then the person who’s actually along for the ride – that’s you. Everyone has jobs to do, and it’s important that you know what your jobs are – and what they aren’t.

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#093 – Move-in Day Is Finally Here!

After a summer of ups and downs, tension and excitement, the time has arrived to deliver your student to school. In this episode Vicki and Lynn share some of their memories of Move-in Days with their sons and daughters. Along the way they share some of the lessons they learned and some suggestions for how to make this emotional day go more smoothly. Patience is the operative word. You and your student will get through this, and they will be off on their new adventure.

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Technology Questions Your Student Should Ask During the Admission Process

We are all increasingly dependent on our technology both for our personal lives and to get our jobs done. College students are no different. Much of students’ academic and social lives will be spent online – whether in class, preparing for class, or connecting with others.

As your student goes through the admission process and narrows down their choice of colleges, it’s important to ask questions that will help them evaluate the school’s technology as part of their decision-making about the school.

But how much does your student need to know? If your student is going to consider technology as a factor in evaluating a college, the answer is there’s a lot to know. You can help your student think about what matters to them and what questions will give them the answers that will help.

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Six Gift Book Suggestions for Your High School Graduate (Plus a Bonus!)

Congratulations! You have a high school graduate! This is a milestone and you want to give your student just the right gift(s). A graduation gift can be very personal and we have lists of suggestions to get you started. Be sure to check out our list – and then get your creative juices flowing.

Let’s get specific here about some summer (and beyond) reading.

If your student is headed off to college, there’s a lot to learn and understand about the college world, and your student may be both excited and anxious about how things will go. Among those graduation gifts, a book or two (or three or more) might be just the thing for your student to read over the summer as they prepare for college and also take with them for reference later. (Maybe a little surprise tucked into their luggage for discovery while they’re unpacking!)

There a lots and lots of good books about college life, college success, and career readiness out there. We have a full reading list with books for parents and books for students. But for now, here are our top six favorites to gift to your student as they head off to college. You may not want them all, but check them out and see what seems to fit your student best.

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Review – The Talking College Card Deck

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.

This time, we’re taking a slightly different approach and reviewing a product, rather than a book, that is a great resource for helping your student make the transition from high school to college. Although we generally stick to books, we think this set of conversation prompts fills many of the same needs.

Be sure to visit our Resources page for suggestions of important books for college parents and their students.

Having the right conversations is an important way to help prepare your student for college. The Talking College Card Deck, created by Dr. Andrea Brenner, is a collection of discussion prompts for parents and students that will help you begin those essential conversations. These pre-college conversations can help parents and students learn from each other and anticipate the college experience.

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Beyond Bedding and Mini-Fridges: 12 Dorm Furnishings You May Not Have Thought Of

There is no shortage of lists of dorm-room essentials. Almost every store or website will offer you a myriad of suggestions.  And the list can get longer and longer as the summer progresses. Packing the car for move-in day can be one of the biggest challenges your family will face.

Rather than add to the already steady supply of suggestions for bedding, laundry hampers, storage solutions, and shower caddies, we thought we’d include a list of a few things you may not have thought of but that can be great additions to your student’s dorm furnishings. You won’t want them all, but adding one or two of these items to your list could be just the thing to make life easier for your student.

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10 Non-Essentials (But Fun) for Your Student’s Dorm Room

As your student gets ready to head off to college in the fall, there’s a lot to do. One of the things on your mind may be helping your student prepare for living in the dorm.  This is a big shift for most students, who have never shared a room with someone.  And this shared dorm room is now going to be their bedroom, living room, rec room, and part-time kitchen as well.

As parents, there are many ways we can help our student prepare over the summer by having some conversations to help them anticipate what they may encounter, but we often jump into helping them think about their dorm room — possibly because it is one of the few concrete, measurable things we can do. And we want to make sure they’ll be comfortable and provisioned.

There is no shortage of lists of dorm-room essentials. Almost every store or website will offer you a myriad of suggestions.  And the list can get longer and longer as the summer progresses. Packing the car for move-in day can be one of the biggest challenges your family will face.

So rather than add to the already steady supply of suggestions for the essentials, we’d like to suggest ten items that your student doesn’t ”need” but that could be fun additions to liven up their dorm room.  You won’t want them all, but adding one or two to your summer shopping list might be fun. Some are mildly practical and some are just plain silly.  See what you think.

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How a Walk Down Memory Lane Can Help Your College Student Move Forward

We all want to move forward — especially this year. We have our eyes on the future and we’re anxious to leave this very difficult year behind us.

Sometimes, when children are young, they thrust themselves headlong in one direction while busily watching all that is going on around them. The result? They trip and fall. We admonish them, ”Point your nose with your toes! Look where you are going!”

Why then, might we want to help our students look backwards — maybe quite far backwards — in order to move forward?

Because reflection is a clarifying exercise. It helps us think about where we’ve been. It helps us gain perspective. It helps us gather wisdom from the past. It helps us move forward with greater purpose and understanding.

Help your student take a walk down their own memory lane

As your student prepares to head off to college, they are, appropriately, looking to their new life and the fresh start that it brings. This is an ideal time to help them slow down a little and remember how they have come to this place.

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Moving From Graduation Season into Summer

If you have a high school or college senior, both you and your student are most likely focused on the finish line — graduation! Your student has worked hard to get here, it’s been a long time coming, and this last year has probably be especially trying for everyone.

First, there may still be a few weeks remaining of that all-important final year. Help your student stay focused and help them ride the many emotions they may be feeling. Be sure to attend to the details that may be necessary to wrap things up and prepare for that final event.

Second, enjoy the occasion. It will probably look different this year than you imagined a few years ago, but the milestone is just as momentous. Relax (easier said than done), smile a lot (even if it’s still behind a mask), and share in your student’s excitement (and maybe a little trepidation as well.)

Then, once all of the festivities are over, it’s time to change focus and begin to ease into summer and begin to anticipate what’s next.  It’s a time of transition and change for everyone — whether your student is leaving high school to head to college or the workforce, or whether they are heading to college. It’s time for the next step — for both your student and for you.

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