Friday, February 22, 2013
Are you afraid that your son or daughter may not be ready for college? Here are some indicators to help you find out if they are. Not being able to do one or two of these is perfectly normal, but more than a few leads to a high probability that they may need to take some time to mature before college. In fact, 44% of college bound high school graduates don’t end up finishing their degree. Inevitably, times at college will get tough at some point, either right away or during finals week. Does your son or daughter have what it takes to handle college? Here are some indicators to help you find out.
1) They can resist temptation. Even when their friends call and say they want to hang out, they have the ability to decline when there is a deadline. Putting off a long-term assignment for one day is one thing, but not completing an assignment due to social obligations is cause for concern.
2) They can handle down time. Most of college is spent doing… well… nothing. Many students choose to fill this time with extra curricular activities or a part-time job. If they don’t, or still have down time after these activities, they need to be able to handle it. Boredom can be dangerous if it leads to drug use and other ill-advised activities.
3) They are able to finish long-term assignments in chunks. This one does not apply to all students. Some work best under pressure and love doing impossibly long assignments the night before it is due. However, others procrastinate to the point where they end up not trying because the task seems insurmountable. If your son or daughter tends to fold under pressure, make sure they space out their assignments into pieces.
4) They like to get involved in extra-curricular activities. This will help you connect to your campus/surroundings, not to mention take away some of that free time. This is a critical factor that is often over-looked.
5) They know how their degree will translate to a career. It is great that you want to major in creative writing or sociology. But what do you actually want to be? How will it help you land your dream job? How will you be able to make a living? Knowing the end goal will help make your determination to finish school much stronger.
6) When they are put in new situations, they are able to meet new people.
When arriving at college, freshman can become overwhelmed by the amount of people around them. Being able to introduce yourself and be comfortable in social situations will certainly help the transition process. Many people hope to get a good roommate, or go to a school where they know someone already in order to alleviate this issue. If this doesn’t happen, your son or daughter needs to be able to meet new people independently.
7) They possess intrinsic motivation
Is your son or daughter motivated to succeed, or motivated to get you to stop nagging them? The will to succeed and general interest in their area of study, rather than the avoidance of punishment, is a strong indicator of success after high school.
8) They understand the value of money (and hard work)
Does your son or daughter think that money falls from the sky and everything is cheap? Regardless of whether they currently work hard or not, do they understand that making a living independently can be hard work? That success is tied to effort? If they do, they will be willing to put in the work when times get hard.
9) They have a system for studying and keeping organized
Note: It doesn’t have to be a good one, just be a plan. Having a system is the first step to staying on top of schoolwork and material. They can always adapt their style later as circumstances change.
10) Can they wake themselves up?
This is a tough one. If your son or daughter cannot get up without extensive prodding, how will they manage to get to class with no one encouraging them? In fact, there will be many distractions discouraging them from attending. They need to be able to take the initiative on waking up and getting ready for class.