Tag Archive for Make College Count

Advice for College Parents

So your child is going to college. Commence worry about everything from how to pay for it to will my child be able to adjust to the new environment and work load. Whether you went to college yourself or not, it is a new and different world out there, and chances are unless you are a college professor or have older children already in college, you don’t know what you or your child can expect. How in the world will you know what your student is going through and how to advise them when they call and ask for help?

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Don’t wait until it’s too late

Don’t wait until it’s too late to start looking for a good high school graduation gift for the high school senior in your life. Now is the time to begin thinking who you will be giving high school graduation gifts to. As I talked about in the last post, making a list now may save you some heartache later.

If you start early, you won’t make the mistake of getting your high school graduate a bad gift. You don’t want to be the person who gives the photo album (we have digital cameras and therefore have digital photo albums—your gift will swiftly tossed into the trash), a laundry bag, or a book designed for children that won’t help us any in our next step (and we will probably get a couple of copies of this one, so you are not alone if you have made this mistake before).

Making College Count is not outdated (the new version is out now) as a photo album may be, is useful, but less boring than a laundry bag, and infinitely more valuable than a children’s book. Making College Count makes a great high school graduation gift because it provides tips and tricks for achieving college success.

So this year, don’t wait until the last minute to make the list of who you need to get high school graduation gifts for, and while you are at it, get them something that will help them in college and beyond—Making College Count.

Appealing to Tired Eyes

Here’s a college tip: If you have the chance to work for a professor during your academic career, go for it. Professors are a great source of knowledge, professional contacts, and career help.

And you’ll also learn a big lesson about test-taking. Read more

Are Honor Societies Really Such an Honor?

What’s this in your mailbox? An embossed invitation to attend a meeting of Nu Xi Nu, the acclaimed honorary society for pre-vet majors. You know it’s acclaimed, because it says so on the invitation. You read on and see that you’re not only invited to attend, but have been elected a member of the group. Hot dang, Greek letters to put on your resume.

You dig further in the envelope and find an order form for Nu Xi Nu sportswear, letterhead, and even a slid 12 karat gold membership pin, emblazoned with a genuine simulated opal. Not bad for $68.50 plus postage and handling. Read more

Does College Choice Affect College Success?

Senior year of high school is supposed to be fun, and it will be, but you are probably thinking about college too. The decision is not looming yet, but it is on your radar. You know you have to get applications done before winter break, but you wonder if your choice of where to apply (and ultimately attend) will affect your success in college.

Of course, your college choice will affect your college success, but maybe not in the ways you would think. If you want to be a meteorologist and the school that you go to does not have one class in meteorology, then that is a problem. You set a goal as defining college success as setting up yourself for a career in meteorology, but no matter what your grades or extracurricular activities look like, you are hurting yourself in terms of your long-term career goals. But generally, it does not matter where you go, but rather what you do while you are there (and I would even add what you do with your degree when you get out).

I know it is easier said than done, but many who have gone before you have done it and so can you. Take some time to evaluate what you want out of college and make a list of those criteria. Don’t apply to schools that won’t allow you to meet those goals for a college environment, even if that means you and your boyfriend/girlfriend have to go to different schools. You may even have to sit down with your parents and explain that you cannot go to the school they would choose for you because it is your choice and you need to be happy with it.

If you work hard and follow the advice in “Making College Count” you can achieve college success wherever you choose to go. And there are successful graduates from every college in the nation. So the pressure is off—make your list and fill out your applications. No matter where you go, whether a big state school or a small private school, you can achieve college success!

Life is a Sport

From intramural athletics to extracurricular activities to group case study classes and in-class team projects, it seems that everywhere you turn, you’re asked to interact with other students. The truth is, more than ever, life is a team sport. Whether it be in college or the world of work, teamwork is current trend. Given this, recruiters today are looking for candidates with Group Skills for their organizations. It’s one of the Winning Characteristics upon which interviewers make hiring decisions, so you’ll want to be able to prove to them that you are strong in this area.

Extracurriculars are an excellent way to develop and sharpen your Group Skills. They almost always involve teams of students working together over a number of months to complete large, complex projects. The key here is that if you’re going to develop and be able to demonstrate that you have Group Skills, you’ll need to go a step beyond just joining the organization. You’re going to have to actually get involved after you do.
Fortunately, if you pick an activity that you’re genuinely interested in, from theater to student government, you’ll enjoy the experience rather than considering it work. You’ll learn from the interaction with the more experienced members who will be managing the projects. And, if you do a good job, you’ll earn the respect of others in the group, giving yourself the opportunity to take a leadership role in the organization. Leadership is another of the Winning Characteristics.

So, get involved and get a head start toward getting the job you want.

You Get What You Give for College Success

You Get What You Give to Achieve College Success

You always hear it said that college can be one of the best times in your life. I am certainly loving my experience, and I would venture to say that all of my friends do too. But just showing up to your campus does not mean that you will instantly have a wonderful time. There is a bit of work involved in achieving college success.

Just as in anything in life, you get out what you put into it. To make the most of college, you can’t just sit in your dorm room everyday between classes and your time in the dining hall. You have to get out there and get involved. Did you always like music? Go to the campus radio station and see if you can be a DJ. Want to learn about another culture? See what is going on at the international student center. There are endless opportunities for involvement and leadership, no matter what you want to do, whether it is playing video games or stage managing a play. But if you never get out there and get involved, you will probably not have a good experience.

So to make college count, you need to get out there and get involved. If you do, you can achieve college success and make college one of the best experiences of your lifetime.

List Making

I make lists all the time. What I need from the grocery store, who to invite to dinner for a friend’s birthday, the homework I need to do this weekend, my goals for my student organization’s charity auction—all of these things and more make it onto my lists.

Whether you are in high school or college, lists can be your friend, provided you have them at the ready, and work toward crossing things off. Lists are key to achieving college success and high school success. Here are some ways to keep a list:

 

  • Pocket/purse sized notebook
  • App on your smart phone
  • Scraps of paper you always have in your pocket
  • Sticky notes
  • Notes stored on your computer

Of course there are more ways to keep lists, but you get my drift. Now think what kinds of things you need to put on your list and get going! Make a list of colleges and universities you would like to get more information about, of goals for your summer internship, of things to add to your resume, or application deadlines.

Do you need help coming up with ideas for your list? Making College Count is a perfect place to start.  It is filled with great advice for college and can help you developing goals and good habits that will help you achieve college success.  With your list in hand, you are now organized and ready to tackle your tasks.

Back to Campus

Freshman year is over and it is time to begin the second year of college. Little do you know, but you are at a fork in the road. As the saying goes, “if you see a fork in the road…take it!” So what if you still don’t have the hang of college or did not get great grades in your freshman year. Maybe you do have the hang of classes, but that’s all you did and now you need to start getting involved to make yourself competitive for internships and eventually, jobs. It’s not too late. Employers and graduate schools are looking for upward trends, so set a goal to do better this year than you did last year.

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Do a Non-Traditional College Visit Part Five

Sometimes doing a traditional campus tour and sitting in on a class is just not enough to find out all you can about a school you might be attending for four years of your life. This series provides tips for parents and students to make the most of their campus visits.

 

There will be time at college that you will not spend in class or at the library studying. Free time is a great time to de-stress and do things you enjoy. So it is obvious that you should find out if you can still participate in things you enjoy while at college. When on a college visit, explore the campus and community to see if it offers what you want out of your out-of-class activities. Do you like to hike? It might be worthwhile to find out if there are opportunities to do so with other students near campus. Have you always dreamed of working at a college radio station? You better check to see if they have one. Play the piano, but don’t want to be a music major in college? See if there are piano practice areas on campus that non-music majors can use. You get the idea. Maintaining and enjoyable lifestyle is a priority for keeping your sanity in college, and it provides great study breaks. But if there are things you know you can’t live without, you better make sure that the college you attend has them.

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