1. Research Professors
Check your professor before signing up for a class. College students choose their own classes, and often there will be multiple sections and several instructors for each course. Rather than sign up blindly, spend some time reading professor ratings before enrollment time. Selecting a professor who is well reviewed could save your student a lot of work and stress.
2. Talk with your child
Make time to chat with your student about college life. How do you envision their experience in college and how do they envision it? What worries do you each have? It can be helpful to make a list of what is in your student’s control and what is out of their control when it comes to the college environment; you might be surprised how much control your child actually has. Discussing your concerns together and finding solutions before school starts can make the transition much easier.
3. Start introducing independence
Make sure your child can survive on his own by introducing some practical life skills now – think of it as a real-world application of the educational theory Gradual Release of Responsibility. A tutorial on doing laundry, the basics of cleaning, maybe a lesson in grocery shopping… hey, this could make your life a little easier too.
4. Contact your college advisors
Most students wait until they get on campus to talk with their academic/major advisor, and by that time everyone’s swamped. By getting in touch over the summer, students get all the benefits of an academic advisor – advice on what courses to take and which professors are best, plus guidance on interesting extracurricular activities – without all the rushing around that can happen in the fall.
5. Buy a planner
Time management is often a struggle for new college students. A physical planner can be a big help: Students write down all assignment deadlines in one place, then “backwards plan” and establish personal timelines for getting everything done.
6. Talk to Alums
Current students or recent grads are a wealth of inside information on topics like where to live to which professors not to miss (plus which to definitely miss!). They might also have insights for you on visiting the campus, such as where to stay and eat and what to do while you’re in town (besides seeing your student, of course!).
Contact us with any questions, we are always here for support.