For Graduated Seniors
Now that the dust has settled a bit from at least some of the celebrations, it is a good time to have one more meeting about what needs to take place before your child starts his or her next chapter of life. Typically, there are numerous things to take care of, many of which are helpfully outlined on your child’s college website – signing up for classes, making plans to attend orientation, setting up a payment plan if one is offered, etc.
It’s a great idea as well to research the academic and social support systems available on campus and make sure your child is aware they exist and knows how to access them. If your child is likely to benefit from formal support services, it is best to set up an appointment before the year begins to get those set up. Keep in mind that you, as the parent, will not be able to do this on your own – your child needs to be involved and will be the one responsible for accessing those services once on campus.
It is critical for your child to understand that seeking help from a tutor, a learning specialist or attending a workshop on study skills can make a big difference in the freshman year transition. Many of the older college students I have spoken with said they wished they had gotten support early on, so that they weren’t in the position now of having to climb out of a GPA dip from freshman year.
Also, check out this article regarding documents that should be drafted once your child turns 18 and you no longer have legal authority over them! Examples include Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and HIPPA Authorization. Putting these in place now will allow you to be more easily involved in decisions in the event of an emergency.
For Rising Seniors
It’s great to take a little breather after finishing exams and the hectic school schedule. But don’t delay too long – next it’s time for a meeting to set a timetable for what needs to be accomplished this summer! Senior fall will be much more manageable if your child can knock off some important college-related items now:
- Make sure you have planned a productive summer – work, volunteering, internship, etc.
- Sign up soon if planning to take the Sept ACT or October ACT – they fill up quickly
- Decide which college visits will take place this summer vs. this fall
- Finish your personal statement (main essay) and resume
- Begin work on the Common Application (you can enter information officially when it goes live on August 1)
- Complete your short list of schools to apply to
All that said, leave some time to relax and enjoy being a teenager!
For All Students
Read, Read, Read. Reading will help your child perform better on college entrance exams; help them slow the academic slide that inevitably occurs during the summer; and will give them something intelligent to say when asked about a recent or favorite book during a college or internship interview.
And for you parents, remember to enjoy your teen this summer! Yes, they have the potential to drive us crazy at times, but we do miss them once they’re gone.