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What's So Important About College Transition?

As admissions emails roll in, you feel satisfied that all your student’s hard work has finally paid off. The grades, the test scores, and the essays resulted in being accepted to college. As a college parent, you are probably riding high, navigating all the paperwork and putting dates on calendars. The last thing on your mind right now is whether or not your student will seamlessly make the shift from high school to college. Of course they will, they were admitted. Right? Well . . . many people don’t realize that admission is just the beginning.

The transition to college for a new student goes beyond attending orientation, moving into the residence hall, and attending class. Making that shift first begins mentally as students prepare for the increased academic rigor and different expectations around being a college student. Learning how to discard habits and thoughts that no longer serve them, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, and adopting new habits. Successful transition means your student learns to navigate their new environment, connect with others on campus, and effectively use campus resources sooner rather than later. Not knowing how to navigate college as a system is one of the many stumbling blocks students hit that impact their experience.

Now, #TasselToTassel focuses on the academic side, so we speak specifically to the academic behaviors successful students employ. Getting into the groove of a different sense of responsibility ideally starts before students get to college so they can hit the ground learning when classes start. Small actions like the ones I mentioned in last week’s blog are a start.

The real work comes in knowing that being a good high school student and being a good college student are two very different things. Going to college after high school is like a minor league player going to the pros. The rules of the game don’t change, but the level of play increases. Leveling up happens over time, but it can start well before the first day of classes.

Celebrate with your student as they open those admissions emails. Capture the memories and beauty of their senior prom. Jump up and down with glee at graduation. Then begin working with them to make sure they are ready to handle their business in college.

Many campuses offer first-year seminars to help students acclimate to their new environment, but not all do. #T2T hits many of the significant points in a half-day summer intensive and through individual coaching. We make sure as many students as possible arrive on campus ready to take charge of their education. That means students know what to do from day one and don’t have to learn lessons the hard way. It also means it’s more likely your freshman will earn the GPA they want during the first semester. It means more summer and intern opporutnities. Lastly, it means tuition dollars are put to good use early.

A great first semester lays the foundation for the next few years. Many students who were able to do it all in high school get a bit overwhelmed the first semester. Don’t take chances with their confidence or education. Enlist the help they may need before they need it.

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