May 16, 2011
Yay!! Most seniors have now settled on their plans for next fall. Hopefully, you have had a chance to celebrate the completion of this important phase of the college process.
Clearly, it’s with mixed emotions that we as parents prepare for the graduation of our children in just a few short weeks. The need to start thinking about many of the logistical issues begins before we have fully adjusted to the idea that big changes are ahead. In my case, for example, it wasn’t even a week after sending in the deposit for my son’s school that I received a request from the college to order extra long bed sheets. My son’s response was, “For all that money, they don’t include sheets?” He has a point!
Also, I highly recommend the following book; it’s one that has helped many parents adjust and plan for a successful transition. Look for the 5th edition (2009). Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years
by Karen Coburn and Madge Treeger
Enjoy graduation. Next month we’ll take a look at some final, practical details that you don’t want to overlook.
May is a time when your junior has to hang in there – itâ€™s important to finish the year strong. Keeping a high GPA is critical, even more so for those students who plan on applying early action/early decision in November.
Still, as parents we need to recognize that there is real stress for those with a demanding course load, who are preparing for and taking ACT/SATs and who are participating in extracurricular activities. Your child needs a chance to blow off steam and be a kid, so keep tabs and make sure they are not overwhelmed.
I mentioned summer planning in April’s newsletter but it is worth bringing up again. The summer after junior year is an excellent time for your child to be engaged in something productive and for learning more about themselves. Keep it as a priority – work, internship, job shadowing, informational interviews, volunteering, a college readiness program or community college class for credit. Any of these will be looked upon favorably by colleges and, more importantly, will be a critical step in your child learning his or her strengths / weaknesses and possible career interests.
On a related note, a great new website put out by the federal government is www.mynextmove.org. Your child can take an interest survey, see what types of careers stem from his or her interests, look at the education required, the future outlook, salary range, etc. This is a great site for all occupations, even those where further education after high school is not required.
For students with learning challenges:
All the summer suggestions listed above are equally important for your student! Your child can use this summer as an opportunity to become more self aware, more independent and to learn to advocate for themselves when outside of their familiar school/family environment.