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Senior year experience

23:34, 07/04/2021

The angst over applications và essays & letters of recommendation, and the pressure around what felt lượt thích the most important decision in your student’s life so far? Even after the final decision was made, your student (và you) worried about classes, the roommate, the social life, và the transition. It lasted all year.

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Well, it’s baông xã. Your college senior is in the midst of another year of anxiety. This time it’s about completing major course work và possibly a thesis, conducting a job tìm kiếm or applying to graduate school, transcripts and references, interviews & resumés & — again — what feels like the most important decision in your student’s life so far: what khổng lồ vì chưng next.

Oh, & on top of everything of course is that this is playing out during the challenges of the pandemic.

One big difference this time may be that your college student isn’t living under your roof (unless they are remote learning). But they may still reach out lớn you for advice or tư vấn or just a listening ear. According to Barbara Hofer, a Middlebury College psychology professor & co-author of The iConnected Parent, communication between students & their parents does not drop off during senior year, and may even increase.

Is there anything a parent can vị to ease the stress?

A certain amount of emotional upheaval during senior year is inevitable, but there are definitely steps you and your student can take that should alleviate áp lực for your student và help them prepare for graduation. Here are four areas to think about.

1. Make the Most of the Present

Begin by reminding your student that, though graduation does loom, they should still be enjoying college. Focusing too single-mindedly on the next chapter may mean missing opportunities now.

Encourage your student to relish their experiences this year. Find ways to give sầu bachồng to others. Seek a leadership position — make their mark on campus.They can combat “school fatigue” by finding new opportunities. Do an internship or service project; join a new club or team; during their final semester, take a class in a department they’ve sầu never experienced.

2. No Unpleasant Surprises

While your student makes the most of their remaining time in college, they need to lớn be sure they’re on traông xã lớn finish at the kết thúc of the year. Are these practical tasks on their to-vì list?

Look carefully at all of the college’s requirements for graduation. Responsibility for meeting these lies with the student, not the school. Your student should kiểm tra requirements for number of credits, all-college or general education courses, distribution & major requirements, capstone experiences, required minimum GPA.Request a degree audit if it is not automatically provided.

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Spring semester will be the opportunity to fill any gaps that may exist.Find out if there is any necessary paperwork for graduation. Some schools require an “Intent lớn Graduate” size or other notification. Avoid missing important deadlines!Stay engaged. Senioritis can strike in college as well as high school. This is not the time lớn kick baông xã. They need to lớn finish svào.

Is your student’s trương mục in good order? Remind them lớn log in và if needed Call or drop by the Bursar or Student Accounts office. Unpaid fees can hold up your student’s diploma.

3. Preparing for What"s Next

While students savor senior year & complete degree requirements, they also need to lớn prepare for whatever is next.

Your student can be job-tìm kiếm ready by taking time to update their resumé, conduct informational interviews or mochồng interviews, ask for reference letters when faculty may have sầu a bit more time to be thoughtful, shop for interview appropriate clothes, and check all social truyền thông lớn make sure that whatever an employer finds there is the image that your student wants to present.Join a professional organization related khổng lồ their intended profession. They’ll be able to find out more about the profession, follow current trends in the field, và network. Many organizations also have job boards available only to members.Take advantage of any và all career-related opportunities on campus even if in 2020–21 they may be virtual: workshops, career-related speakers, career fairs, etc.

4. Parents Have Work lớn Do, Too!


Experiencing the best of senior year, making sure they’re ready to finish, và starting the job tìm kiếm are your student’s responsibilities. But parenting is never over.

There are some things that you can vì chưng khổng lồ make sure both you & your student are ready for graduation.

On the practical side, make khách sạn reservations for Commencement if you’ll be staying overnight. Rooms often fill a year or more in advance for big events such as this.Seek a balance between keeping your student moving forward và not adding additional pressure during a stressful year. Know when khổng lồ be present & when lớn stay out of the way.Engage your student in some life discussions. (These are good conversations for winter break.) Do they know how to estimate their expected post-graduate living expenses, create a budget, find necessary insurance, consider benefits in a job offer, plan for retirement, và make a debt repayment plan?Ask about their hopes, dreams and goals. Listen a lot. And then help your student think about how to lớn create an action plan to turn those hopes and dreams inkhổng lồ reality.

For many students, senior year feels lượt thích coming to lớn the edge of a cliff & taking a leap into lớn the unknown. It can be paralyzing. As parents, we may need to lớn gently help our students find ways to navigate this final year so they are poised & ready to lớn make that leap with confidence & joy.

Students who get a solid start in the fall and winter will have sầu a year with a plan — & with a lot less anxiety.