#053 – Campus Sexual Assault: A Discussion with Author and Public Health Expert Susan Sorenson

 This is a sensitive and important issue for anyone who has a student living on a college campus. Susan Sorenson, author of the book After Campus Sexual Assault: A Guide for Parents, and professor at the University of Pennsylvania joins us to discuss how students, parents, and colleges deal with sexual misconduct. Susan shares advice on how parents can talk to their student before college as well as how to respond if their student shares information about something that has happened. Despite the difficult topic, this episode reminds us that as parents we all “fiercely love our kids” and want the best for them.

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Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Student – 2021 (Plus nearly 100 more!)

It’s that time of year again. We’re all hoping that the holidays will be at least a little more normal this year. We’re thinking about family and friends and we’re thinking about gifts. Because of shipping issues, the suggestion this year is that if you’re ordering gifts online, do it early.  So it’s not too early to put on your thinking cap!

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. There’s so much to choose from!

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 fifteen new suggestions for 2021 to add to our earlier suggestions.  Don’t stop here! Check out our Gift Suggestions tab for over 100 additional suggestions!  We guarantee you’ll find something for everyone there!

Check out our ideas, and then let your own creativity take over!  If you have additional suggestions, share them in the comments! Let’s make this a community project!

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#052 – Undecided Students: Is Your Student Ready to Decide on a Major?

20-50% of students enter college undecided about a major. That’s a lot of students! In this episode Vicki and Lynn unpack some of the reasons students may not be ready to make a decision, some myths about undecided students, and some of the questions parents can ask to help their student take control of the process of exploring options. Being an exploratory student may be the best option for some and will help relieve a bit of the pressure on students to make this decision before they are ready.

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College Parent News and Views – October 2021

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

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How to Help Your Undecided Student Find Direction

This is Part 2 of our 2-part series on undecided students. Part 1 – Why Your Undecided Student May Be Drifting – discussed why your student may be having a difficult time deciding about a major. In this article we share some ways that parents can help their undecided student find direction.

There are many reasons for being undecided about a major. In our last article, we suggested that helping your undecided student find direction begins by helping them understand why they are undecided. You can help guide this process, but the deep work involved is your student’s work to do.

Being unsure about a major as you enter college might be the most appropriate course for many students, but it is important not to allow that uncertainty to become a drifting mentality.  Help your student formulate a plan to proactively investigate and narrow options and ultimately make at least a tentative choice.

A 7-step plan to help your student get started

Making a decision about a major – and possibly making it over again several times – can be so daunting that some undecided students begin to drift. They aimlessly move through each month or semester without making progress toward a choice because it is too difficult to know where to begin.

Help your student create a plan to guide their decision making.

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#051 – Adulting Made Easy: An Interview with Author Amanda Morin

We were joined in this episode by Amanda Morin, author of Adulting Made Easy: Things Someone Should Have Told You About Getting Your Gown-up Act Together.  Amanda shared with us why the skills she includes in her book are so important for this generation of students. We covered a host of topics including how to engage in small talk, how to register to vote, how to find the right fire extinguisher for your first apartment and how to zip up a dress if you live alone. Parents and students will both learn new things in Amanda’s book and will definitely enjoy hearing her share her story in this episode.

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Why Your Undecided Student May be Drifting

Most traditional college students enter college when they are between 18-20 years old. Scientists tell us that at that age, young people’s brains are not yet fully formed – especially in the area of executive functioning.

Is it any wonder, then, that many students, (Virginia Gordon, in her book The Undecided College Student suggests close to 50% of them) are undecided about a major when they enter college? Or that approximately 75% of college students change their major at least once during their years in college, with the average student changing their mind three times?

It may not make sense to expect our college students to know at the outset what they want to do with their lives, but we do.

If your student is one of those many students who say they are undecided about a major, you may worry.  Your student worries, too. Will they ever find direction? Will they find it too late and not be able to complete college in a timely way? What if they never find the right career?  That’s a lot of anxiety.

Being unsure about a major as you enter college is OK – it might even be the most appropriate response.

What is not OK is to allow that uncertainty to become a drifting mentality.

How did we get here? Why do we (and students) worry about being “undecided”?

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

We ask our young children that question, and we get those cute responses. “I want to be a ballet dancing doctor!” “I want to be a gypsy!” “I want to be an astronaut and a policeman!” At that age, it’s all about possibilities.

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#050 – We Celebrate Our 50th Episode with 50 Top Tips

We’re thrilled to be celebrating the 50th episode of the College Parent Central Podcast! We hope we’ve shared helpful information, advice and support in our first 50 episodes. We had fun brainstorming 50 helpful tips for parents and students to celebrate our 50th episode. They range from “Go to Class” (for students) to “Don’t Call Professors” (for parents.) Find the suggestions that speak to you and your student and see how many you can practice right now. Thanks for joining us on the journey so far!  We look forward to our next 50 episodes!

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College Parent News and Views – September 2021

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

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Does Your College Student Have an Advisory Board?

Most college students crave independence. It’s what the teenage years are all about, and as students head off to college they have an opportunity to spread their wings and exercise that independence. It’s an important stage of development (although it’s sometimes a difficult time for parents.)

So what’s the problem?

For many students, the problem is that they feel that being independent means that they must do everything on their own. Asking for help or guidance means that they aren’t truly independent.

Of course, that isn’t true. We all need guidance. We all have times when we need to ask for help. Being independent means knowing when you need help, finding the people who can provide that help, and being brave enough to advocate for what you need.

This is why your student needs a personal advisory board.

What is a Personal Advisory Board?

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of any company rarely runs the company single-handedly. Most CEOs have a Board of Directors who advise them and help make the decisions that guide that company.

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