Thursday, June 28, 2012

5 Tips to Prepare Your Kid for College

By Samantha Peters, Freelance Writer & HR Blogger

Whether your child planning to study Radiography or Russian Literature, going away to college is a scary, exciting time, and no doubt your son or daughter is full of anticipation and a bit of anxiety. Remind your student to keep a healthy balance between work and play by following a few useful bits of advice.
The Importance of Orientation 
Orientations are organized to help freshmen get to know the campus and each other, so encourage your student to attend as many of these events as possible. Orientations are great venues for having fun, exploring campus, meeting new folks, and starting to get accustomed to this brave new world. Events may run one day or several, and lots of schools offer additional programs ranging from wilderness camping trips to urban explorations. Participants are pretty much guaranteed to make a friend, get lots of free stuff, and get answers to last minute questions.
Getting Involved 
A sense of belonging is so important in new situations, and becoming involved in on-campus organizations can go a long way toward helping freshmen feel at home and find a like-minded group of friends. Students participating in on-campus activities are less likely to be homesick and more likely to stay on-campus and take full advantage of all social and cultural activities available. Whether students volunteer, play an intramural sport or pledge a Greek organization, extracurricular activities foster pursuit of established interests and discovery of new ones. Encourage your child to check out on-campus offerings.
Getting Organized 
Though there are plenty of support services available to freshmen, personal organization is so important to collegiate success. Stress the importance of getting to class on time, knowing each professor’s expectations and schedules, and keeping notes and syllabuses in order. On the cash end, teach your child to balance a checkbook, keep track of debit card receipts, and try to stick to a budget.
Getting to Know Classmates 
Encourage your child to get to know people in his class and dorm, a great boon to on-campus happiness and academic success. Though roommate issues can seem a bit overwhelming, learning to talk things out in a non-confrontational way is bound to inspire a peaceful year. Befriending dorm-mates will give your child a great on-campus family and comfy safety net, as they’re all going through the same roller-coaster emotions together. Getting to know at least one person in each academic class is a smart way to stay up-to-speed on academics and find study partners.
Professors and Academic Advisors 
Your child’s academic advisor is a key player in a successful completion of a course of study. This person will assist with class schedules, major selection and resolution of any academic issues, and your student should be encouraged to consult their advisor whenever necessary. Kids should also take advantage of the chance to meet their professors during scheduled office hours, a decision that’s especially helpful if they hit academic snags during the semester.
As they set off on this amazing adventure, remind your child that his or her first priority is getting an education. By staying focused on goals and effectively balancing work and play, college freshmen can achieve their dreams and still have fun along the way.  

About the Author:
This is a guest post written by Samantha Peters, who enjoys blogging on career and HR, covering topics of particular interest to women in the workplace.

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