Your little chicks are about to fly the coup, but are they truly prepared to take advantage of all college has to offer? With your investment in their education, college planning is important in helping them garner all they can from the college experience, including reaching not just academic goals, but expanding their life experience through independence, extra-curricular, and social activities as well. Help your children gain the most out of their college experience with a few college planning tips:
- Go to class.
While this particular pearl of college planning wisdom is obvious to parents, it may be groan-inducing for your children. However, by simply breaking your wasted investment (both yours and theirs) to a specific dollar amount per each class skipped, children can more easily understand how their absence injures not only their education, but the family pocketbook as well (particularly if classes need to be repeated). Remind them that their academic growth is important in gaining the knowledge and experience necessary in landing that dream job, offering the opportunity for resume-building experience, such as letters of recommendation from distinguished staff, research and teaching assistant opportunities, and more.
- Get involved in extra-curricular activities.
While your children are likely to have and meet an array of friends in college, encourage them to find friends with similar interests by pursuing the arts, clubs, hobbies, teams, community activities, student government, school media, musical activities, and sports that suit them. College planning involving extra-curricular activities should stress to your children that it is not about how many activities they take part in, but simply their commitment to the ones they do choose. These activities help your child to become a well-rounded student, relieve the stresses of academics, and may possibly help them find their life path as well.
- Take advantage of free events, programs, and services.
College is one of the few times in life your children will be surrounded by multitudes of “free” opportunities. From educational and sporting events to social, recreational, professional, and health related programs, facilities, and services, encourage your child to explore all that campus life has to offer in their college planning, such as free access to extensive libraries, state of the art fitness and recreational facilities, tutoring, healthcare, and more. These free events, programs, and services will most likely be once in a lifetime opportunities for your children.
- Learn to prioritize.
College planning helps your children learn to balance their many activities – from homework, internships, and extra-curricular activities to fitness, sleeping, and social events. Learning to prioritize while they are pulled in so many different directions is part of college planning that will help them prepare for the rest of their lives. No matter your age, prioritization and time management skills matter.
Making positive connections through networking is important in helping your child realize future goals. Encourage them to make friends and get to know not only fellow students, but professors and alumni as well. Great mentors, such as those they might find in an internship, often offer valuable resources and advice later in life, particularly after graduation when the reality of job-seeking sets in. Inspire your children to really listen to and get to know people, helping them meet the needs of others in order to form lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.
Don’t assume that all benefits of college life will be obvious to your child. Ensure these advantages won’t go overlooked with a few simple college planning tips to keep your children on the right track. Help them get the most out of both classroom and campus life with practical college planning advice. They’ll thank you for it in the future.