Anyone who has ever attended college or watched their children navigate this transition knows how vastly different the experience of a high school student is from that of a college student. From the newfound independence to the excess of free time to the vastly different academic expectations, many, if not most, students find their new university life to be a major culture shock.
College Students experience major shifts in the following areas:
- The newfound independence students experience in college is one of the most overwhelming changes
- College students must independently select their classes, their major, their schedule
- They must independently manage their social lives, their sleep schedules, where and what they want to eat for each meal
- Most students find this independence to be both a blessing and a curse Class Variety:
- College classes come in a wide range of topics
- Students must take into account:
- Professor teaching styles
- Course timing and course length
- Class formats (online vs. in-person vs. hybrid, lecture vs. seminar, etc.)
- It is each student’s responsibility to research and register for courses, as well to decide when it is necessary to add/drop/make changes to existing courses
- College classes require students to be in different places at different times each day; students may not have the same classes or schedule each week
- Some students are even required to travel between different campuses for class
- College classes vary in length and format
- Students must independently decide when the time is right for: attending class, studying, exercise, eating, extracurricular involvements, social activities, etc.
Accountability and Responsibility:
- College students are treated like adults
- Parents won’t be called if a student skips a class / Parents no longer speak on their student’s behalf / Parents cannot give students permission to miss classes
- College students are expected to make adult decisions, are held responsible for these decisions and must be accountable for poor decisions
- College students receive an entirely new set of peers -- from roommates to dorm-mates to classmates
- In college, you can create a new, fresh identity for yourself: this can pose as many problems as it offers benefits
- Many students attend college in a new state or section of the country, which can expose them to cultural differences
- Many students experience loneliness and awkwardness as they attempt to establish their college identity and form new relationships
- This process can be slow, time-consuming and oftentimes discouraging
Students also quickly learn that college is expensive and budgets must be managed, that there is significantly more homework, that attendance is their responsibility, that it’s harder to stand out in college classes and that there are fewer grades and fewer opportunities for feedback than they experienced in high school. We must honor the challenges our students are going through as they navigate this transition and offer the insight and support they need to overcome such adversity.
College Success Plan helps its students by promoting accountability, by encouraging flexible thinking and by supporting students in being proactive wherever possible. College will inevitably challenge a student’s will-power, self-control and self-esteem, and our Mentors feel privileged to act as coaches and confidants during this trying time.
If your student is struggling with the adjustments of college life, please reach out to College Success Plan to learn more about how we can help!
Great to meet with you today! I am so glad we were able to go over your four syllabi that were posted and discuss ways to be successful right from Day 1 this semester.
As we discussed, let's make sure to do the following this week:
1) Complete all readings and homework ahead of time -- no missing assignments is a goal!
2) Utilize individual school resources (office hours, Help Rooms, T/A's, Review sessions, etc.) -- the syllabi specifically state that help is available and encouraged for students!
3) Get to the library during the day and immediately after night classes to get work done -- let's limit distractions and make sure getting all work done is a priority before hanging out with friends!
Attached is your to-do list for this week.
Next Session: Monday January 14th 12:30 pm EDT
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me! Have a great first week back and I will check in with you again this week!
Don't miss out on the opportunity to reflect on the semester with your student!
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The new year offers an opportunity to reflect on the previous year, to identify areas of our lives that are lacking and to commit ourselves to self-improvement. While we identify those aspects of our personal, social and professional lives needing development, why not encourage our students to set their academic resolutions? If your student is suffering from low self-esteem, not experiencing the level of success you know they are capable of, or are in need of individual guidance to experience academic fulfillment, College Success Plan might be the solution you’ve been looking for!
College Success Plan's academic and organizational plan is for any college student who wants positive results or is motivated to get back on track. If you feel your child could benefit from our services, please give us a call to learn more about how College Success Plan is educating and empowering students!
College students are often so overwhelmed with work and friends that they miss the opportunity to be involved in their college’s clubs and extracurricular activities. The value of these experiences is endless, and the accessibility you experience at college is unparalleled.
Why is getting more involved on campus in your best interest?
Together with our students, College Success Plan mentors explore the clubs and organizations available at each university. We encourage students to participate, provide reminders for club responsibilities and show students how to manage their time so as to make room for these beneficial memberships! Let us show your student how valuable and enriching active participation on campus can be!
At College Success Plan, we are constantly reminding our students that there is a solution to every problem. No matter how desperate or dire a situation may feel, there are always opportunities for improvement and growth. Our Mentors empower students with this knowledge and guide them to identify these opportunities and take action. By focusing on the things you can control and releasing control of those you cannot, you minimize anxiety and are better able to identify a path forward.
When students focus on the aspects of their education that they can control, the results are positive and impactful. Conversely, when students focus their energy on things they cannot control, many become overwhelmed, pessimistic and ultimately paralyzed by their inability to solve the entire problem. By helping students break off bite-sized pieces, their problems become more manageable and they experience the satisfaction of small successes, which further motivates effort and growth.
Through deliberate discussion and exercises, our Mentors engage in conversations with students to determine which areas of stress and worry are within their control. The average person’s circle of concern includes health, family, school/work, politics, etc; whereas, a person’s circle of control includes proactive steps that can be taken to protect those concerns. For instance, my general health is of great concern to me; within my control is my ability to eat healthily today, to exercise this week, to go to bed earlier, to get a yearly check-up, and so on. A student’s grades are of great concern; items within control include completing an overdue assignment, emailing a professor to ask for an extension, scheduling a meeting with a TA to formulate a catch-up plan or setting up an appointment with a tutor on campus.
Identifying steps within our control inspires proactivity and makes us feel less helpless. When we can see a real path leading towards our ultimate goals, the fear of never reaching those goals becomes less daunting. Indecision is the primary impediment to success, and we at College Success Plan strive to inspire each student to action upon identifying which steps can be taken and how. Ultimately, problem-solving skills such as these are vital tools for survival and success in the real world and instilling these in our students while they are still in college sets them up for a lifetime of ambition and resourcefulness.
If your student struggles to differentiate between the things he or she can and cannot control, please give us a call to learn more about how College Success Plan is educating and empowering students!
Taking the time to set goals for the upcoming semester is something every college student should do. College Success Plan Mentors prioritize goal setting exercises prior to the start of the year so that they may support students’ goals and hold them accountable. Goals are important because they give us focus, they provide a measurement for progress, they ground us, and last but not least, they motivate us!
Suggested academic goals for students:
Not only should students set their academic goals (as academics should always be the priority at college!), but they should also consider personal, social and professional goals that will lead to a well-rounded life.
Suggested social goals:
At College Success Plan we view our thorough goal-setting and goal-maintaining activities to be of the utmost importance. They provide our students with a road map for the future. If your student is plagued by indecision or experiencing anxiety surrounding his/her future, please let us help. We offer a data-driven and individualized approach that provides our students with the focus, direction and confidence they need to discover what path will offer them the greatest fulfillment!
Time is our most precious resource. Most people feel that they either have too much or too little time on their hands. Many college students report feeling that they do not have the time-management strategies they need to be successful. At CSP, we want our students to make conscious choices about their time that allow them to both meet academic expectations and set aside time for other meaningful activities. Balance in college is key, and balance cannot be achieved without the ability to effectively manage one’s time. Due to poor time-management skills, psychologist and author Dr. William Knaus estimates that 90% of college students procrastinate regularly when it comes to their work. He asserts that 25% of these students go on to become chronic procrastinators who are likely to drop out of college.
According to a 2015 Student Engagement Insights survey by Cengage:
The most common effects of poor time-management skills amongst college students include: lack of sleep, declining academic performance, chronic procrastination, poor diet and an increased risk of dropping out. Students end up being late to class, rushing through assignments and producing lower quality work. This can lead to heightened levels of stress and anxiety as well as low self-esteem. College Success Plan provides the encouragement, structure and tools necessary for students to stay on top of their work and ahead of this trend!
Did you know...
College Success Plan Mentors meet weekly with students to discuss recent challenges, to work through current stressors and to set a positive tone for the coming week. We ensure each student has access to his/her accommodations, has communicated those accommodations to each professor and knows where to go on campus to receive additional support.
Our Mentors understand the harmful effects stress can have on a person’s mental, physical and emotional health. With the support of College Success Plan, students feel more in control of their lives and less stressed. Through the mentor-student partnership, we offer individualized solutions to successfully deal with organization and academics so students feel more empowered. Let us help your child experience greater success!