My son, a college sophomore, is returning to school this week and moving into a new housing situation. I have spent the last few days at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, shopping for new sheets, towels, and tons of stuff that he probably doesn’t need and will likely never use.
In every aisle, I find myself with other parents, usually moms, of college kids and we always get to talking about how there is just so much stuff we have to buy to get a kid settled in college. But do we really need to purchase everything on a college’s dorm supply list?
A recent New York Times article by Caitlin Flanagan, entitled “Sending Sons Off To College And Finding Solace In A Big Box Store” answers that question with a resounding “No!” Flanagan understands that when the other parents and I spend way to much time picking out the softest sheets for our college-bound kids, we are really expressing our mixed emotions of pride and sadness.
We are so proud of our kids for working hard in high school and now heading off to college. But we are a bit sad at the prospect that our kids are leaving home. It seems our purchases of hangers and shower shoes are really just our way of saying, “I love you” and “I will miss you so much.”
If you would like to talk about how you are feeling about your child heading off to college, I’m here to listen! Please give me a call at 310-849-6751 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can probably find me at Bed, Bath and Beyond, wandering through the aisles and working through my own mixed emotions 🙂
All my best, Jeri
After months of waiting, March is the month when 12th graders receive their college admissions notices. March can truly be the best of times and the worst of times. But it is also the time when parents realize that it is no longer just idle fantasy that their child is going off to college – their child is really and truly leaving home. In addition to academic readiness, a high school senior needs to have certain skills in order to successfully transition to college. The following are my Top 10 skills that a college freshman should possess before leaving home.
1.) The ability to drive and a valid drivers license.
2) Knowledge of how to book an airplane ticket and how to navigate an airport. After the initial drop-off, students are expected to be able to get themselves to and from college.
3) How to manage a budget
4) How to make doctor, dentist, and hair-cutting appointments.
5) How to figure out how much time is needed to be somewhere on time. How to set an alarm and actually use it.
6) How to do laundry and change bedding.
7) How to shop for groceries and basic hygiene products.
8) Have a clear understanding of one’s own alcohol tolerance.
9) Have a clear understanding of romantic relationships and the laws of consent.
10) How to stay on top of assignments and study for tests.
There is still plenty of time for high school seniors to learn these skills – but get started now and practice over the summer!
If you are feeling overwhelmed about assisting your senior with college readiness, or want to talk about what life will be like once your senior heads off to college, I am here to help! Please give me a call at 310-849-6751 or send me an email at email@example.com
All my best, Jeri
My husband, my almost seventeen year old son, and I visited a number of universities so that my son could compare large public schools with smaller private liberal arts colleges and begin to think about what type of college he would like to attend. For the most part, our visit to each college was relatively the same: we attended an informational session conducted by an admissions director followed by a tour of the campus lead by a current student. Each admissions director touted that school’s “amazing” academic offerings, its “amazing” research opportunities for undergraduates and “amazing” extracurricular offerings. And I will readily admit, each and every campus we visited did in fact feel “amazing” as the quads and buildings are beautiful, the students strolling to class did seem happy and the general atmosphere was vibrant. My husband and I wistfully said to each other that we wished we could return to college!
But there was an incident at one university’s information session that was truly memorable. We were at a popular mid-size private liberal arts college and attending the morning information session. The audience filled the large hall to capacity. When the Admissions Director took the stage, the audience fell into rapt silence. She began her presentation with a short overview and then said she wanted to know the make-up of the audience. She asked, “how many of you are high school juniors?” and a large number of hands went up. She then asked how many of the audience members were high school sophomores and freshman and a number of hands rose into the air. The next question was how many middle school students were in attendance with their parents and a number of hands went up which surprised me but I was truly amazed when she inquired about elementary students attending and a handful of hands went up. I was then shocked when she asked if there were any pre-school students in attendance with their parents. While no hands went up, the audience responded with laughter. But the Admissions Director then said, “You are laughing but this is the first day in the last few weeks that I haven’t had parents of pre-schoolers attending these sessions and wanting to know what their children need to do to be admitted to this college!”
I am still stunned at this new development! While I am aware that today’s parents are greatly worried about their children getting into colleges, I am disturbed that the anxiety has drifted down to parents of pre-schoolers. I can only imagine the pressure that these small children will face during their K-12 school years. In addition, due to my work in the field of learning differences, I know that, statistically speaking, a percentage of pre-school children will be diagnosed with some form of learning issue that will cause them challenges in school. The thought of elementary school children feeling that they have disappointed their parents and their plans for their eventual college admissions breaks my heart. There will be ample amount of time to prepare students for college. But while their children are young, parents should focus on raising children who are kind, optimistic, resilient, curious and eager to learn. And enjoy their children’s childhood for the fleeting magical time that it is rather than the beginning of the college admissions process.
If you are feeling stressed out by the college admissions process trickling down to younger and younger students, let’s talk about it! Please give me a call at 310-849-6751 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best, Jeri