Meredith Reynolds - Head Start College Blog

Archive for December, 2007

26% of College Freshmen Drop Out!
December 19th, 2007

As college freshmen return home for the holidays educational psychologists encourage parents to watch for signs of depression. When they left for college they may have been full of optimism, but going back they know what college really is, and for many that wasn’t great. Maybe football games were really fun, but roommate was awful…or classes were so hard, no time to hang out and make new friends…or just don’t like all the rain.
So what to listen for?

1. Does your freshman mention new friends at school? Does he/she text message, email or call them over the holidays? I ask my kids for their friend’s addresses so I can send them a Christmas card…good information for the future.
2. How were the first semester grades? Were they different from grades in high school? Ask which classes they liked and which they hated? Find out specifically what academic advising your student has received and will receive. Check out the school’s web site and give your son or daughter the “How to” of getting academic tutoring if need be. Listen for the name of a professor who they really respect and again jot down the name. You may need it sometime in the future.
3. Listen for what your son/daughter does for fun at school. If for example they’re on a dorm intramural basketball team suggest they get some new shoes or shorts over the holiday. Let them know you want them to be doing more than just studying. Listen for the name of the older student in the dorm that seems to be the one your son/daughter likes to talk to.
4. MOST Important! Set definite dates for your next visit. You be the judge of how soon that needs to be based on your time together at the holidays.

And finally, if your son or daughter is one of the 26% welcome them home with a big hug and don’t panic. Emphasize that the only failure was a failure to pick the right college–the right match!  Start anew rebuilding their confidence, listening to what was right about their first college, what was wrong and find that “Perfect Match”.

Perhaps most important for the entire family, the Head Start College program paces students to complete their applications by Thanksgiving.

MEREDITH REYNOLDS

PO Box 1401
La Canada, CA 91012
818.952.2414 phone
818.952.2432 fax

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