Remember, if you have not built a good relationship with your student before this process, this will sound like a list of do’s and don’ts. You have to understand that they are not going to be under our authority for much longer. They are shifting from parent/child relationship to parent/friend relationship. They will always be your child, but this is where we have started to treat them more like a friend and less like a child. The next five years is where this needs to change fully. We train them up to send them out. To make their mark on society and the world. That is our goal. To do that, we need to start the transition from making all the decisions and rules, to teaching them to make them. We can have fun in college, to be sure—but it’s main purpose is not for fun—it’s to graduate and learn as much as humanly possible so they can survive, succeed, and thrive. Then, the real hard work and the real fun begins. Blessings on all your efforts!
Things to Discuss
- Purpose and importance of going to college. Get their written thoughts.
Set your Goal to graduate! Write it down, post it in the dorm and at home.
Daily, weekly, and monthly reflection on achieving your goals.
- Mental Health—college is stressful! Signs to look for.
- Envision yourself graduating. Buy your cap and gown early and try it on once every three months until grad.
- Tell them your expectations. Remember they are young adults—don’t micromanage them. Teach them to learn!
- Have them state their OWN expectations. Have them write them down and bring them to you. Review often.
- One of their main purposes in life (which includes college) is adding value to others. Take time to help others.
- Sleep—it has a purpose. Don’t abuse it—use it well.
- Sexual misconduct. Responsibilities and consequences. So many get sidetracked here.
- Drugs and Drinking. Danger signs.
- Time usage & planning. Daily.
- Managing stress. Sports, exercise, relationships, down time.
- Good eating habits. This is huge!
- Feelings of Suicide (don’t neglect this!!!) It can happen over many things.
- Independence and dependence.
- Helicopter Parenting—be there and help, but don’t hover! Ask them how you can be helpful but not smother.
- Setting their own rules and limits to help them grow. Make a list! Write it down!
- more to come…
This list list will grow as I do more research and find good things to add—of course—please add your own ideas in the comments below.