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The College Helper: First Hand Help

posted Dec 11, 2010, 5:59 AM by Glenda Durano
Want to know what college is really like?  During Christmas break, when all your friends' kids are home from college, invite them over for cocoa and cookies (college students LOVE homemade cookies) for a one-on-one with your high schooler.  College students love feeling like they are the experts...especially since all semester long, they've felt nothing of the sort.  If that's a bit awkward, then invite the entire family over, and, while the moms and dads have coffee in the kitchen, let the kids have some time together.  Ask  your high schooler to think about some questions he'd like to ask that college student, whether it's about the college admissions process, the university in particular, or "what I wish I would have known."  Parents, you may also have questions and that's fine, but remember, it's your student who will be applying for college, not you.  In fact, it may be more beneficial for you to speak with the parents about how to prepare for the empty next syndrome or how to fill out that crazy FAFSA form.   At some point, give your teenager some space with the coed.  Even if your high schooler is shy about asking questions, chances are that the college student will be more than willing to share information.  After all, he was in your student's shoes not so long ago and more than likely, he feels his pain.