Four tips for college bound students: PARENTS TOO!


High school graduation, an achievement not all of us attain, is a rite of passage; an appropriate transition, and admittance into the new world of adulthood. Te exhilaration and anticipation of high school graduation for every graduating senior commences right around a month before the big day. Seniors sport class colors with pride; they spraypaint graduation dates across car windows. Giant “congratulations,” “good job,” and “we made it” signs are plastered conspicuously over windows, garage doors, and campus fences. It’s thrilling. But, when the diplomas are all handed out, and the parties are over, the excitement subsides leaving you apprehensive about your ability to navigate your new existence. You gain freedom and independence, but expectations of you change. Responsibilities increase. You’re suddenly expected to navigate the world as an adult. You can no longer claim the refuge of being a kid. Here are some things to think about. No matter where you are in your high school career, if you haven’t started, start now.

College brings new responsibilities, and new expectations. You’ll worry if you’ll get accepted. Ten, you worry about how you’re going to pay for it; how you’ll maintain an acceptable GPA; how you’re going to manage your time on your own; hold down a part time job; help your ‘ohana, and manage to keep a social life. If you allow the worries to be overwhelming; they will be.

four tips for college bound students1:  Any change, or new endeavor can cause fear. Whatever you’re feeling is absolutely normal. If you weren’t afraid, that would be weird. Fear is an emotion that can keep you from achieving your goals. It’s also the same emotion that can propel you into greatness. Holley Gerth, author of “You’re made for a God-sized dream’ wrote this about fear: “Put fear on a leash, and show it who’s boss!”

2:  Pay attention to what makes you happy. God gave us spiritual gifts. Any work along those lines can assure greatness because it was God’s work in the first place. Pay attention to the kinds of activities that give you a sense of accomplishment and look for interests and occupations along those lines. Ten, do the research. Where should I study to enhance my God-given skills, and make me better? What does that college look for in an applicant? What kinds of activities should I begin engaging in now? Should I start community work? Can I intern? Go see a counselor for advice. It always helps to talk through your thoughts. It will help you clarify your goals.

3:  College is a process that you won’t fully understand until it’s done. Don’t worry about what you don’t know today. You never know today, what tomorrow will bring. Just be excited that tomorrow’s coming. You’ll probably not go to the college you frst chose. You’ll probably change your major too. Don’t be worried that you don’t know exactly what you want to do, almost no one does. If you’re one of the lucky ones who gets a degree in what you started out with, you’re blessed, but you’re not the norm.

4:  Don’t think you’ll get away with not reading, or studying. You won’t. Be expected to share your opinions and evaluate information a lot—way more than in high school. You will probably feel like you are not prepared. You probably are not. But it is okay! Be prepared to do research and find yourself a good study group. Look to your college for resources. They might offer free tutoring or assistance with writing papers. Almost anything you can’t do now, you can learn in school. None of us know it all, even if we pretend we do. Hopefully, these 4 suggestions will lower your stress level and allow you to enjoy (both college student and parents) this new chapter in your lives.