Tips for parents of college students
Your college-age children have become young adults. In college, they are experiencing new levels of freedom, independence, and responsibility, but they are not yet in the "real" world. As a parent, it is often difficult to know if, when, and how to be involved.
At this stage of their development your children may have found their own unique ways of learning, communicating, planning, and decision-making. Their approach to school and the future may be very different from yours. Put the differences aside; it is important for you to remain involved. Creating opportunities for "adult" conversations about their school experiences and their future plans - in which you carefully listen to their challenges, hopes, and dreams - will enable you to provide the support they need as well as communicate expectations you have regarding your investment in their education.
Career-related development you can support:
- Articulate interests, skills, strengths, and talents and connect these personal attributes to education and work options
- Explore possible programs of study and the related career options
- Select a major (by the end of the sophomore year at 4-year institutions and during the first year at a 2-year school)
- Experiment with and evaluate personal attributes and possible career choices by taking advantage of the new opportunities college affords, such as a wide variety of classes, internships, and leadership activities.
- Use the career resources available and be able to find and utilize career information to make informed choices
- Demonstrate planning and responsible decision making
Other ways you can help:
- Be open to your student's ideas and don't be critical or discouraging.
- Allow your student to make his or her own decisions.
- Encourage your student to take advantage of the opportunities for connecting to the world of work offered by the school, such as internships, career center programs, and extracurricular activities.
- Help your student network by introducing him or her to people you know in a field of interest.
- Discuss coursework, thoughts about majors, and plans for work or further education.
- Encourage contact with teachers and faculty members.
- Encourage your son or daughter to make academics a high priority beginning with his or her freshman year.
- Be flexible if your student changes directions
or makes new choices.