• Preparing for College

    The time to start preparing for college begins almost immediately after you bring that child home from the hospital! It is said that a great percentage of what we learn is learned in the first five years of life - I am not sure if they are talking about the child's life or the mother's!

    First, just like when the child goes to college, the child needs to learn to go to sleep early so that it can sleep peacefully through the night to awaken ready to learn in the morning. This is a difficult concept both for infants and college students to grasp. Infants never seem to want to eagerly go into their cribs and may wail until their parents have pulled that last hair out of their heads! College students are faced with a myriad of better things to do usually involving al the things that their parents would not let them do in high school!

    Second, the college student needs to be able to listen to an adult giving directions or reading important academic materials to them. As a young child, listening to an adult is similarly an important task. My neighbor once thought that his son had what he called "hearlexia" - it was similar, he said, to dyslexia but involved the child not hearing anything he said. Any sentence that starts with the word "don't" is not heard, and unless you have the words "candy" or "McDonald's" to start the sentence, it most likely will not be heard! I thought of naming my second child "McDonald's so that I could start all instructions with that name!

    Third, both young children and college students should understand how to eat properly and maybe even cook a healthy meal for themselves. Understanding that the basic food groups are not chicken nuggets, french fries and ice cream and that these foods do not exclude all other foods is useful information for both young children and college students. And, if they can recognize that food can come from a stove as well as a drive-through, those are bonus points.

    Fourth, fiscal accountability must be started early in a child's life. The idea of "saving" can be started when they are young at the ever-present candy section facing them at the grocery store checkout. Learning to not buy that impulse pack of gum just because it is there, and saving for a desired toy is a lesson that could come in handy on the college campus when the Mastercard salesman is encouraging them to play a fun game and win a plastic water bottle while signing up for their credit card at 20% interest. This is also important if they have had difficulty with the third lesson. My daughter one semester ran up a debt greater than some small countries using a credit card to buy breakfast, sodas, and Slurpees each morning at a gas station on her credit card.

    Finally, and most important, parents need to remember that where we thought we would never get through toilet training, we will get through their college life. And, we will cry proudly at graduation, just like we did when they first were able to wear "the big boy pants"!

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  • College is the Right Move.

    College can be frustrating, challenging and the greatest time in your life. As you enter your freshman year of high school you should also begin to think about your freshman year of college. The earlier you begin to think about your career path the easier it will be for you to attain your career goals.

    You are probably thinking to your self "hey let me have some fun before the real work begins". Let me tell you something, in a blink of an eye high school will be over before you know it. You want to start looking at colleges during your first couple of years of high school. You want to find the resources available to you often it can be first come, first serve.

    Take the time to find out what you like, look at colleges that can best serve you. Have your parents and friends take trips to visit colleges that you may be interested in. Most importantly of all is that you academically perform well in high schoo, which will give you more opportunity to pick and choose the College that you truly would like to attend.