Wednesday, August 25, 2010
GUEST BLOGGER: Amanda Kane, LSW
Animal House 2010
I work at a university, so I’m tuned into the rhythm of the academic calendar. I’m gearing up (bracing myself) for the start of the semester and the incoming class of anxious freshman.
College is an exciting time for most students, but it is also a time of stress and incredible change. Many college students live on campus and may be leaving their homes for the first time. Unfamiliar food, strange roommates, and fresh academic challenges are just some of the “new” elements thrown at students. Adjusting to college life can be very difficult and stressful. Most college students manage their way through the transition, but some lack sufficient coping and academic skills to be successful right out of high school.
If you have a young adult departing for college, take time to talk with them about how they are feeling. Let them know what you expect from them in concrete terms. Topics like sex, alcohol, and academics are all important areas to cover during these conversations. It is unrealistic for parents to assume that their son or daughter will never experiment with adult behavior in college.
As a college counselor, I cannot stress enough the negative consequences associated with underage drinking. Alcohol abuse academically derails many students. Also, far too many young adults deal with terrible life altering situations such as DUI and sexual assault. College students need to be educated about alcohol. They need to know that it is a drug alters judgment. If they choose to drink alcohol then they risk the negative consequences associated with it.
Many parents tell me that they feel that their adolescents don’t “listen” to them, but I know that most students truly care about their parents’ opinions. Most kids really want to make their parents proud and have a fun, successful college experience. Discussing the realities of college will make them better prepared and ensure their success.