Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Helping Your High School Graduate Make an Intentional Plan for Transitioning into College Gracefully

Good Morning! We have girls coming this morning. One of them has graduated from high school and will be heading off to college in less than two months. Going to college is scary the first time! So I thought I'd chat with her about transitioning into college gracefully.

We usually go out to coffee together to have some uninterrupted time together when she's here. I want to ask her how she can make her transition into college a positive one, even though she has a bunch of emotions going on.

She is scared. I want to mention that everyone is scared when they go to college. Just voicing it out loud makes it not so scary. And to know that it's normal helps, too. My own children were scared and excited at the same time, and they had far fewer hurdles to climb than our foster girls have had.

She's be anxious to have freedom! To be a guardian of the county carries with it many guidelines and restrictions. Just to be able to call a friend, their social worker must interview the friend and family! I want to talk to her about the pendulum - how she wants to maintain the same values she has maintained this year and not go to an extreme in the opposite direction just because she can.

I've seen many college students who come from rather controlling homes go crazy their first year in college because they don't know how to handle their freedom. They haven' t been trained in how to make decisions, use discernment, or manage their time. During our girls' last year in high school, we tried to give them more control: we stopped asking if they had homework and such to prepare them for the total freedom they would have in college. We still expected to know where they were and when they'd be back, though. :)

She is so done with the childishness of her peers and siblings. Our girls were ready to move on from the beginning of their senior years! Everyone else at school seemed so petty and immature! I want to talk with our foster daughter about leaving well for the sake of the younger girls in her house. She is setting an example for them - hopefully a graceful one - on transitioning.

Many times our foster girls don't have the luxury of smooth transitions. Their parents do ridiculous things which are unpredictable, and create unpredictable lives for our foster daughters. They are yanked from their homes, schools and neighborhoods. Sometimes over and over. So smooth transitions don't come naturally.

I want our foster daughter to keep the younger girls in mind as she is transitioning - that they are the ones being left, that they will miss her, that they are looking to her as a role model.

She is stressed. There is so much to do before leaving for college! I want to help her think through what her tasks are before leaving: packing, shopping, paperwork, etc. To plan out those tasks will relieve the stress of being rushed at the last minute. I want to help her remove any chaos that doesn't need to be in her life during a very chaotic time.

She is insecure. She is probably wondering if she will be successful in college. She has already changed her major several times this year! I have gone over the Myers-Briggs personality inventory with her to pinpoint what is important to her in a vocation. So that is a huge tool in her tool belt.

I also want to work through my Three Steps to Time Management for the College Student with her to help her determine her own passions, priorities, and gifts. In doing so, she will be confident going into college because she will know what is important to her. And can measure opportunities that arise in light of her own priorities. She will be able to plan her schedule to include her own goals, rather than be at the whim of others. She will be less likely to flounder.

So ... we have a lot to talk about! If you have a child going into college, help make that transition graceful! Tears come, but that's normal, too. :)

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More blogs about college:

Organizing For College - Dorm Room
Organizing for College - Guest Blogger Sarah Scrafford
Packing for College, Round 1

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