What Parents Should Do to Help Students Prepare for the First Year of College

We believe you are looking for your kids’ success. You spend a lot of money on their education, and their success gives you joy. As the years begin to wind down, high school seniors typically have their eyes on two prizes-graduating from high school and getting into the colleges of their choice. Students put in the effort needed to achieve success, and you must be there to support their progress.

Both milestones are worthy, and you must step in to support your kids to achieve the best. It is always good to know what lies ahead and prepare. Many enroll in colleges with little knowledge and spend their first years making mistakes. As a parent, you stand the best chance to assist your teenager get along well while in college. Give them some tips that will enable them to adjust to university life.

Many learners get to colleges underprepared. They struggle a lot and wish they had known some things before arriving on campus. You must help your child because the support you provide makes a significant difference in psychological well-being. Many students report to college feeling stressed in most cases regardless of where they go to study. Being emotionally unprepared contributes to poor academic performance and negative college experiences. As a parent, you can correct this by providing support and encouraging them to be resilient.

Here are some things you can do as a parent to help students prepare for their first year in college.

· Develop empathy

· Make it okay to ask for help

· Discuss your expectations

· Expect mistakes, encourage resilience

· Emphasize what professors will expect

We will discuss these points to assist you in knowing what you must do to help your son or daughter start college life with a positive outlook.

1. Develop empathy

For most students, joining college will be the first time to spend alone and away from home. This comes with a lot of anxiety and expectations. Take time and discuss with your teenager the first time you left home and share the experience. Let them know the challenges you experienced and some of the things you wished you knew. The learner will develop a better understanding by discussing what worried and excited you the most. Whether you attended college or not, there is a lot you can share with your child to develop empathy. Students will learn how to handle different experiences when you share your encounters and how you overcame them.

2. Make it okay to ask for help

Many college students believe that they are mature enough to do everything by themselves. Most of them want to demonstrate a sense of independence in an unfamiliar place and do more harm than good. Help them know that asking for assistance where necessary is actually a sign of maturity. In asking for help, encourage the learner to look for various resources available on campuses such as tutoring programs, financial aid offices, and counselling centers. Learners can get support from different departments to get along well in their first year in college. Starting strong enables students to be more focused because they understand their mandates from the onset. Many learners who do not ask for support often make many mistakes that would otherwise be avoided. It is a good move to encourage the learner to find places that can accord the necessary assistance.

3. Discuss your expectations

Why is it paramount to discuss your expectations with your child? The way you communicate your expectations affects college student’s self-image. The explicit conversation enables learners to face the challenges they face more confidently without parental guidance. Besides, the conversation helps to avoid conflicts that arise because of differing expectations. Learners need guidance and the direction they must follow. Having a good conversation allows you to share your academic expectation with the learner. They start their semester knowing what you require from them and work hard to provide the results. Take time also to understand the learner to provide the best guidance. If they are afraid of anything, address it and show them how they can overcome it. Transiting into college life is not easy without adequate preparation.

4. Expect mistakes and encourage resilience

As learners get familiar with the college demands, they are bound to make some rookie mistakes. Students do not need to have it all figured out when they arrive on campus. Learners will make mistakes, lose something of importance, miss an assignment deadline, and miss classes, among others. Help them know that mistakes are part of learning and they are expected in the first semester. Encourage them to learn from their mistakes and avoid repeating them. If they commit a mistake, let it not break them to the point that they feel inferior. The hallmark of being a responsible adult is the resilience learners show and the ability to adjust to situations in the face of adversity and own up to their mistakes. Encourage resilience when things do not go as expected.

5. Emphasize what the professor will expect

College-level education comes with a new set of expectations and standards, different from what students are used to in high school. Helping learners know and anticipate higher standards will save them from finding these things the hard way. For instance, there are constant reminders on due dates, and instructors provide regular feedback about student performance in high school. It is different in college. You will have to create your plan and make it work. You must keep up with your work. You will need to find time to speak with your professor about your academic work because no one will follow you up. The amount of writing for college students is also different from high school. College writing is persuasive, requiring you to provide supporting evidence. This will demand support to improve on what you have been doing in high school. Encourage students to set plans, move forward in writing, and discuss their goals with instructors before their papers are due. Cheating and plagiarism are also handled differently in college. If you consider college essay proofreading support from professionals, you must do it wisely. Cheating and plagiarism are serious offenses that violate the institution’s integrity. You must be forced to redo a course, academic probation, suspension, or expulsion.

The learners should know what they are up to when joining college. The support you provide will enable them to have better academic days and enjoy college life from the start. The transition from high school to college is a significant change that needs support to ensure they are ready before classes start. A good area that learners need assistance is the college majors. Let students know where they can get help and start the semester knowing what they want to do. Many learners spend their first years changing majors that eventually affect their education course. Let them know where and how they can get academic advising programs to comprehend the requirements for each class. This will enable them to have a clear path to graduation. Encourage the learner to polish social and soft skills. Strong communication skills are essential for college students. The skills are needed in all fields to convey ideas clearly and work collaboratively.

Another way you can help the leaner is to visit campuses. Create time and visit different campuses on weekends to see how students spend their weekends. Visiting campuses is an excellent move to enable students to know the kind of life in college. They will also see the kind of environment that suits them. You can do many things to help your child prepare for college by having a good chat. Most of the things you need to provide are simple. Be the support they can rely on. Life will not be easy. But it will be bearable if you prove to be strong support for them.

Give them the confidence to ask for guidance when things are not working right. Learning to navigate challenging times in college will only be difficult for students if they have not received proper guidance. Before they join college, it is your mandate to let them know the kind of life they expect. Preparation will help them overcome many issues that stress Learners and be the cause of taking a wrong trajectory in college life. With these tips, you can assist learners in preparing adequately for their college life.

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