For the past 20 years, I've been directing orientation programs for incoming college freshmen. All of a sudden, I am the on the other side of the equation -- I am the new face -- a little nervous, but eager to get started.
The world enjoys no shortage of advice, both good and bad, about how students can get into college. But for all the thousands of dollars that families spend on preparation, all of that support vanishes once students actually enroll.
The bottom line is that determining fit is costly. It is not like stepping into a dressing room at a mall. Imagine the monies spent by wealthier families to hire college advisers and then visit campuses, often with overnight stays and plane trips, not to speak of days taken off from work.
College students have been known to make all kinds of mistakes, including stupid ones usually involving too much beer. Here are seven scenarios where not speaking up can be a disaster. They play out far too often on campuses daily.
To help you start your semester off on the right foot, I've compiled a list of specific suggestions. All of these tips come from students who are going through the same, or similar, stresses as you. They know what they're talking about.
Walk yourself back from the brink and look at the salvage options. When there is a plan B things usually work out. Be sure to have a plan B. Mistakes can be overcome if you know the tricks of the trade.
It's not really "news" that some students do not complete their degrees on a traditional timetable; what's big news is that many do ultimately earn their degrees and go on to become great examples of academic achievement to inspire their children and families.
Making noise, finding your voice is an essential life strategy. Students today claim to be communicating more than any generation before using technology. But the technology of texting, Facebook, and Twitter is silent.
If institutions of higher learning are genuinely committed to increasing student retention and graduation rates, it is essential that they create and sustain a culture of caring, anchored by high expectations and accountability.
Colleges recognize the key truth that those students who are most successful -- the first level of success being graduation in four years -- form the patterns that make them successful early in their academic experience.