|"The Eye" on plane back home from Tulane University Orientation.|
How far back should I go with this?
|The Favorite Son at Sigma Phi Epsilon.|
|Setting college expectations early: |
The Three Pigs, Business School, and Wolfe Hash Stew
|University of Missouri and #1.|
Visit the Schools Your Child(ren) Want to Visit: I saw it when I was an undergraduate myself and I see it now with the children of my friends and family. If a young adult isn’t comfortable and happy on a college campus, he or she is unlikely to be successful. Visit large public universities and small public universities. Visit urban campuses and large land-grant universities. Spend time at both private and public schools. In the context of your financial means, let your child do his or her research and go to the school of his or her choice.
Financial Aid: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible. Encourage your child apply for every local, national, and institution scholarship he or she can while providing guidance as needed. There are scores, if not hundreds, of scholarships sponsored by local Rotaries, Lions Clubs, other clubs, businesses, and associations, as well as scholarships sponsored by national organizations and universities based on need, circumstances, interest, aptitude, and heritage. Take advantage of every opportunity. (Hint: Make sure your child files his or her tax return when they turn 16 years of age. It makes completing the FAFSA and the school financial aid applications much easier.)
Participate in New Student Orientation: Sign-up and participate in new student days and orientation at the school. It will both give your child an opportunity to meet other students, start to build relationships, and create an additional familiarity with the campus, classrooms, and activities. Such occasions will also provide you, as the parent, context for your child if he or she needs some type of support along the way.
Have “Those” Conversations: Your high school senior is suddenly a college freshman. The structure you provided as a parent in your home and community won’t travel with your child, but the values you taught (and teach) will. Spend some time and discuss with your undergrad new and unique situations in which he or she find himself/herself, like:
1. Your expectations about alcohol and drug use;
2. The reason it’s important never to accept a drink from anyone unless you saw the person make or open it;
3. The definition of the word, “consent,” as it refers to sexual intimacy;
4. The reason to always travel, on campus or in the town or city, in groups – the bigger the better;
5. A discussion about your suggestions for money and budgeting;
6. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which is your undergrad student’s permissions for you, parents, to access your child’s federally protect personal and academic information.
University Contact Numbers: On your smartphone, create a contact for the school your child attends including phone numbers and email address for emergency, police, financial aid, student housing, registrar, student health center, guidance, and so forth. So, if you need to contact one of the school departments to support your child, whether a routine matter or a high-priority issue, you’ll have all the numbers at your fingertips. Then, share that contact card via text so your student has all of the same information.
|Always nice when a friend helps.|
Give the Gift of Your Experience and Knowledge: You’ve been a loving, caring mentor for your child for about 18 years. Why stop now? Using whatever method you have at your disposal to connect with your young adult, continue to provide the guidance and expectations you have. Talk about the importance of getting involved in social organizations, from intramural sports to chorus to student government to Greek life to common interest groups, and building a social and support network. Suggest the reasons that a healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise, can improve the college experience for your child.
See what I just did there?