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Blog #24: Tips For Your Student Transitioning From High School To College Life

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

It is just three weeks after College Decision Day – May 1st.

This was the deadline by many colleges for students to accept or reject an offer of admission and, if accepted, to pay the deposit. If your student is on the four-year college track, we certainly hope that they were able to settle on a college of their choice, pay the deposit, and that your family can begin to relax and prepare for the end of high school senior year and upcoming graduation festivities.

As with any new opportunity, there are also things for your student to do as they begin the transition from high school to college life. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

· Keep Up The Grades: Since most high school graduations occur in June, your student may still be in the process of completing final assignments and preparing for final exams. Remember that your student should continue to work hard and finish strong. Your student will be required to have their high school transmit their final academic transcript to the college soon after the transcript is available. A college can revoke an offer of admission when there is a dip in academic performance. This has happened, so your student must keep up their grades!

· Avoid Questionable Social Media Activity: Advise your student to avoid social media activity that could render questionable their morals or judgment, such as using racist or sexist language or posting content or communications that denigrate individuals based on their race, religion, color, sex, nationality, or other legally protected bases. Colleges have rescinded admissions offers to students who have utilized racist slurs and other denigrating or threatening language on social media, including at the University of Florida, Cornell University, Marquette University, and Harvard University.

· Check The New College Email Early And Often: Your student will receive a new college email address. So, remind them to check for it early and, once assigned, check it often! This is how the college will begin communicating with your student. This means they will be informed of their housing assignments, roommate, financial aid and tuition payment deadlines, summer orientation planning, and other activities and information.

· Check The College Portal Early And Often: Your student may also receive access to a portal on the college’s website. The portal may provide direction on uploading required health information, submitting further tuition and housing deposits and payments, uploading any surveys or other information, instructions for pre-testing for language and math placements, and signing up for fall classes. Again, check early and check often! This is your student’s lifeline to the college before moving into college housing and starting classes in the fall.

· Join The College Class Facebook Group: Look out for social media groups that may connect those in your student’s college class. These groups will be fun and promote the excitement of starting college in the fall. Your student may be able to utilize social media to meet some of their future college classmates who reside locally in your area.

· Join Parent Of College Class Facebook Group: There may also be social media groups created for parents of students in your child’s college class. Look out for that too! It can be an excellent tool for parents of college students to share resources, tips, and insights about helping your student (and the parents) prepare for the first year.

· Connect With Your Future Roommate: Shortly, your student may receive a roommate questionnaire from the college. Encourage your student to fill this out and return to the College before the deadline. This questionnaire will be used to match your student with a freshman roommate. Most colleges work hard to match first-year students with suitable freshmen roommates, so your student must be honest about their qualities, temperament, and personality. Later in the summer, your student will receive information about their roommate. That is a very exciting moment! Be sure to encourage your student to reach out to their roommate by phone, Facetime, or Zoom to get to know them and begin to plan on what’s needed for their dorm space.

· Think About Strategies To Maximize Your College Experience: Many students do not think about strategies for maximizing their freshman experience. Instead, they start freshman fall deluged and overwhelmed with all the possibilities of college but haven’t thought about activities or opportunities that will most benefit them. With that in mind, we offer these thoughts:

o Recognize that some students already have their college major and future career planned out, while others enter college with little idea and intend to use the next two years (before declaring their major) to figure it out.

o Most students, though, probably fall somewhere in between. Your student may be a strong writer and thinking about majoring in English, Sociology, Marketing, or Communications. Another student may enjoy math classes and intend to explore majors in Applied Math, Economics, Engineering, or Statistics.

o That said, your student’s plan for college should consider experiences that contribute to the whole person and encourage them to understand themselves, their community, and their world, and create connections that will improve their circumstances and those of others.

· Research College Extracurricular Options And Target Those That Will Most Advance Your Interests: There are loads of extracurricular options in college. At most four-year colleges, a student can get involved in a variety of extracurricular activities like student government, academic and professional organizations, social groups, fraternities/sororities, sports (varsity or club), employment/work, volunteer and service opportunities, academic research with a Professor, the Arts (theater, fine arts, orchestra or band), multicultural awareness, political activism, global education opportunities, and internships. But, your student won’t be able to do everything (and keep up their college grades), so it may be beneficial to develop a strategy for exploring their preferences before college even starts so that they gravitate towards activities from which they will most benefit, and explore some new things that pique their curiosity! So much excitement and activity lie ahead!

For now, enjoy the high school graduation season! And, enjoy prom and all the celebrations! Stay safe, and we will be back with more insights on College.

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