Five Things NOT To Do When You Drop Your Child at College
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
1. Don't Hover During Orientation
2. Avoid Texting Repeatedly
Studies have shown that the average college student gets about 12 communications from parents each week. This is a sharp contrast to the once a week phone call and occasional mail most parents got from home when they were in college. Technology makes it easy to be in touch with loved ones, but it also makes it hard for students to learn independence and transition emotionally to their new life. So, resist the temptation to be in touch daily.
3. Never Call a Professor
I hear stories all the time from friends and family who are professors about the parent who calls concerning a bad grade. One of my siblings even tells the story of a parent who called after a failing grade, and when she told the parent that the student would have to speak with her directly about it, the parent responded “I don’t want her involved”. Involved? It’s her grade. Your child is now 18, it is their responsibility to monitor their grades and work out any issues with the professor. Unless there is a medical crisis (i.e. your child is in the hospital and can’t take finals), you should not be calling a professor.
4. Don't Let Them Come Home Too Often
When kids attend college fairly close to home, there can be a temptation for the student to come back on the weekends. Kids who do this usually miss out on truly immersing themselves in campus life. So, if you find your college student at home on a regular basis, encourage them to join some clubs and find a group of friends to enjoy extra-curricular activities with. You are only in college once, and missing out on the social aspects of college usually doesn’t make for a happy four years.
5. Resist Pushing a Major
It’s easy in a stagnant economy to pressure students into what you perceive to be a “practical” major. Kids feel guilty about all the money you are spending and want to please you. So, often they will go along with a major that YOU emphasize vs. finding their passion. This usually results in the student getting poor grades or being dissatisfied with their career later. Encourage them to explore a variety of subjects and take advantage of on campus career testing and off campus internships. Gentle guidance to investigate different careers is the key to seeing your child happy later in life.
Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC which provides strategic, college counseling and athletic recruiting services for students. www.collegeadvisorsonline.com.
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