Give Your College-Bound Student the Best Chance at Success in School this Fall
College as we know it could be radically different this fall. Help your student navigate those changes with confidence using these strategies.
I have been involved with education my whole adult life and I have never seen anything like what we are experiencing today. In my 22+ years of experience as a parent and professional educator, educator coach, and education consultant I have never seen education so disrupted. School was the one constant in life we could all count on. Not anymore.
In our household, our son is supposed to head off to Johnson and Wales university this fall to play soccer and study sports entertainment and event management. He has missed his senior soccer season (we were slated to be back-to-back State Champions) as well as most of the memories of senior year we take for granted. He is anxious to move on from the repercussions of a pandemic he never asked for in order to feel like his life can start again. But he is anxious as well that it may not happen at all and he will have to live at home and do his freshman year of college virtually.
Last week I wrote a post on the two most important questions parents need to ask themselves now to be as prepared as possible for school success this fall.
Today I offer questions to start a conversation with your college-bound student in order to help them begin to navigate their options when it comes to owning their education this fall. My next posts will focus on High School, Middle School, and Elementary students respectively. (To get those posts delivered directly to you, be sure to sign up using the box at the top right of this post.)
Why is this important? So much was taken from our students without any input from them. Giving them a chance to see their options and make choices for themselves can help them build confidence in their decision making and own this next phase of their education journey. It can also help give them a perspective shift from victim of the whim of a pandemic to author of their own futures which is something that will benefit them as they face other unforeseen challenges in their lives.
The conversation you need to have with your College-Bound student.
If you have a college-bound student at home no doubt you are having conversations about whether or not to prepare for that dorm room or whether or not to sign that lease for the apartment. Here are some other conversations you should be having:
If school goes 100% virtual, is the cost of tuition at that College or University worth it? If your student is working on fulfilling general education requirements, those can be satisfied virtually vis a local community college at a much cheaper price tag. With your student, weight he costs and decide what is best for your financial health.
Will your student-athlete need to red-shirt this coming year? If your student is already planning on playing their sport at the collegiate level, this should be a conversation they are having with their coach to weigh the options of their athletic future. It's an important consideration that may affect their eligibility the rest of their college career.
Is this the year to consider a Gap Year? Gap years don't have to be lost months of Netflix from the couch; they can be structured and have purpose when planned out, and may even help influence your teen towards a career direction they wouldn't have considered going straight to college. Take some time to explore this option with your student and see whether this pandemic might offer a blessing in disguise.
If your student stays home instead of heading off to college, what will the ground rules be? Life changes dramatically once our students turn 18. What rules need to change to accommodate their new stage of life? What policies do you need to put in place to help keep your family running smoothly and allow your college student some freedoms?
What, if any, requirements will need to be established for grades? College is when we all start paying (more) for our education. Living at home and doing school virtually removes the pressure of performing usually in place, leaving students vulnerable to apathy and low performance. What requirements need to be established to ensure everyone is getting their money's worth?
How does your student want to be parented if college is virtual? Your student is losing a lot of normal adolescent transition opportunities if school goes virtual this fall. What kind of parenting do they want from you? What changes would help them transition into adulthood?
What will your student be financially responsible for? If your student stays at home, it will be important to establish what you will and will not pay for for them. There is no right or wrong, but setting clear boundaries helps keep everyone happy with each other.
While no one knows for sure what college will look like this fall, being prepared can help make any transition go smoothly. I hope these questions get you started on healthy conversations with your student. If you would like some help preparing or even discussing different questions tailored to your circumstances, please reach out and schedule a free, no obligation, 30 min. Fall School Strategy Session Call.
Join the Conversation: What topics ae coming up in your house between you and your college-bound student?