Always planned on going to college, say the freshmen. Have been working on this for all of high school and before. School chosen. On the way to begin a new adventure. Smart so should know what to do and how to do it. Advisors – the main thing is to get students into classes that fulfill general eds and may even move toward some declared major. College offers training, education, opportunities. Colleges are big money – grants and loans – payments guaranteed.
Back to the students – advising – into classes or left on their own. The guidance from experience and knowledge of options is beneficial when available. Freshman strike out on their own in a new environment with new freedom. Each one wanting to further establish their independence, yet there may be confusion and uncertainty.
Parents adjusting to one less fledgling at home – needing to let go and yet wanting to protect. Parents full of advice and yet know much of it won’t be listened to. Parents need to let the freshman know they are available to listen and ask questions. Parents can share some of their own stories letting the freshman know – how to find answers, that challenges will happen, that things can work out, it is truly an adventure.
Colleges are now looking at the support and guidance needed for retention. Information is getting out. Still the inconsistency between the business of high education and the purpose of higher education requires strategies for navigation to gain the students objective (which can be knowledge, job skills, play, adventure….).
Parents still have the role of advocacy at the college level as in K-12. The role may be more guidance for the student, yet there needs to be a willingness to step in also.
Parents are proud and delighted with their freshman taking this next step to college. Yet, parents are in a panic as they know the freshman will be exposed to the big world out there- both the good and the bad. Ongoing communication so the freshman knows the parents are there as a support, even if only in the background is critical.
Freshmen have a major transition in routine. There is more freedom and more self-responsibility. The excitement is paramount. The anxiety can be overwhelming. The struggle exists with going solo into the unknown and yet partially wanting the security of the known.
Parents and freshmen what are you doing to prepare for the transition? Expect the bags are packed and the shopping is getting done (don’t forget your toothbrush). What are you expectations? What are your concerns? What are your resources and safety nets?
You can find more of Edith’s ramblings at howtoinlife.com blog