Tuesday, 07 July 2015 15:30

Preparing Your Young Adult to Transition to College

Written by  Nancy W. Thomas
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Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.Proverbs 22:6 (RSV)

 

Proverbs 22:6 promises us that our children will not depart from the teaching we provide them.  Do you know a family where children never stray?! The blessing is that most will return to the solid family teachings if the atmosphere has been a loving, respectful, healthy, character building and values based.  Below are some practical things to consider when sending your child off to college.

As a Parent:

•  Show an interest in their academic success.  If you are paying for their college, make sure they give permission for you to have access to their grades.

 

•  Attend parent orientation and sign up for the parent association.

 

•  Emphasize that attending class is strongly associated with success in college.

 

•  Emphasize that nutrition and sleep are important to their overall academic success and health.  Sleeping well before a test solidifies learning and improves performance.

 

•  Mid-terms can be a rude awakening for students so know the academic calendar.

 

•  Take a tour of the health center and counseling center at orientation, if the campus has one, and your student will be more likely to access these services. 

 

•  Insist they get a flu shot.  The flu can wipe out a semester of good grades very quickly.

 

•  If your student has ongoing health or psychological health issues, be sure to have the appropriate providers identified before the first semester begins and that they have enough medication to last until their next visit to their provider. 

 

•  Provide them a lockable box for valuables and medication.

 

•  Be aware that the first 10-12 weeks of school are a stressful, high risk time where students can establish patterns of alcohol abuse, missing class and unhealthy friendship groups that may result in students experiencing campus violence.

 

•  Have very frank conversations about hazing. Unfortunately, hazing rituals have evolved into forms of torture.  Hazing is not limited to fraternities.

 

•  The most common alcohol problem is binge drinking.  Have several conversations about alcohol and your expectations.  Be sure they know what constitutes a binge, can recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning and the risks involved. Even if they don’t drink, they may save the life of someone else.

 

•  The common denominator in most physical and sexual assaults is the excessive use of alcohol.  Females are especially vulnerable during the first semester of college. 

 

•  Make your visit to see your student fun and on a weekend that is convenient so they look forward to you coming back. 

 

•  Never surprise visit.

 

•  Clarify their budget and the expenses they will be responsible for prior to going to college.  If they have a credit card for emergencies, give them one with a low limit and monitor charges.

 

•  All students get homesick at one time or another but comes in many forms, at different times.

 

•  Encourage your student to get plugged in to spiritual activities at orientation.  If your student gives them a phone number or an email address, they may receive a personal invitation to activities.

 

•  Support your student with encouraging emails, texts, calls and care packages.  Expecting a warm response in return is unrealistic.

 

•  Remind them that nothing transmitted via the college internet system or on a college supplied computer is private.

 

•  Before they leave, discuss expectations about rules and curfews when they are home on vacation rather than waiting until they come back home.

 

•  Be a good listener and avoid unsolicited advice.  Encourage them as much as possible.  You will be surprised how much your student will share with you if you do not freak out.  Believe me, you want to be your student’s go to person when they want to talk.

 

•  Pray for their protection, wisdom and discernment. Give your students support and a soft place to land when they have made mistakes so they can make better choices.

 

 

 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.Luke 15: 7 (RSV)

 

 

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 13 July 2015 15:34
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