How is the transition to college going?

Transition is moving from a familiar place to an unfamiliar place. It can be viewed or felt through a lens of emotion, at times, that can encourages people to feel unfairly positive or negative.  This gets in the way of the real steps of work that can help people make the transition successfully.

 

Let’s analyze these three brief anecdotes.

 

One, a college freshman looks forward to the experience, and has learned about going to college from the internet and alums returning to the school.

Now, their first month is a tough experience.

·      Familiar (high school and home) to Unfamiliar (college and dorm) One challenge to making this transition successfully is becoming proactive. The beginning steps to being proactive is asking basic questions about this unfamiliar place. (see Useful Things For College Freshman To Know, in the TOOLS section of this website.)

·      Get a small notebook, write down today’s date and describe what you think the first semester will be like, in as much detail as you can muster. DON’T READ THIS AGAIN UNTIL AFTER THE NEW YEAR.

 

Two, the parent of a college-bound student would avoid their child leaving home if possible, because of their feelings of sadness, but instead isn’t very enthusiastic as the child prepares, and is sometimes downright negative.

 

·      Familiar (home) to Unfamiliar (college) Another challenge to making this transition is for parents to let their children go. This doesn’t mean they will never see their children again. It does mean their children will have an experience that is their own, and are taking a step toward adulthood. The work to make this successful belongs to both parents and children.

·      Having a new experience opens up opportunities for parents to model for their children how to handle new situations, or to ask for information about situations that are new that gives children the opportunity to be the expert.

·      An important question for both parents and children is “what thing or experience Is something that is special to both of us and how will be keep this sacred?”

·      Parents of college-bound students are having a college transition experience, not at college.  What are you doing, and how are you growing?

·      Get a small notebook, write down today’s date and describe what you think the first semester will be like, in as much detail as you can muster. DON’T READ THIS AGAIN UNTIL AFTER THE NEW YEAR.

 

 

Three, a college-bound freshman looks forward to being away from the rules and expectations of their parents, and home. A month into their experience they are hit with sadness and regret, but feel they’ve alienated their parents, who feel the child needs their space, and are careful to not intrude.

·      Familiar (home) to Unfamiliar (dorm)  How do relationships, parties, and rules work at college?  What limits are you setting for yourself? (Do you really want to eat ice cream for breakfast every morning, and go to a frat party every night for the first month?)

·      An important link for both parents and children is deciding when there will be contact. It can be as simple as a 10-minute call or Face Time every week: put it on the calendar. If it’s already happening, it’s easy to use.

·      Get a small notebook, write down today’s date and describe what you think the first semester will be like, in as much detail as you can muster. DON’T READ THIS AGAIN UNTIL AFTER THE NEW YEAR.

 

Do any of these anecdotes seem familiar to you?