Is your daughter heading to college for the first time? Super congrats!! And I know you must excited/nervous/overwhelmed/joyful about the transition.
It’s a big BIG move. But I beg you. Stop stressing over the damn bed sheets. Your daughter will figure out how to make a bed. Seriously. Even if she has to learn some “make it work” skills and it’s not Pinterest worthy.
Instead, have her focus on learning how to build relationships. With administrators on campus. Staff. You know…Adults. The people who can help her navigate the entire school process AND ensure she is “employable” when you pick her up four years from now.
Let me share insights from my time in Higher Education.
I worked for several years in higher education. Attended my share of college orientation fairs. Hosted meet and greet the parents. Supported during student move-in weekend.
Again and again parents and students would stop by my table and ask questions like:
- Where is the local Bed, Bath and Beyond?
- Where are the stores for food, school supplies?
- Where is the activity calendar?
- And my all-time favorite – what size are the bed sheets?
But no one ever asked the most important one:
What do YOU do and how do you help students succeed?
They were too stressed over the moving in process and forgot the goal is develop a 4 year game plan.
Please, I don’t want to diminish the stress of move-in day. It is more than a physical move. It’s the culmination of countless hours. It’s another step in the overall growth of your child. to watch them grow from helpless adorable infant to an almost adult…that’s no small feat.
Nothing but kudos to you!!
But I do want to caution parents to help their daughter keep their eye on the prize.
The JOB AFTER GRADUATION GAME PLAN
This is the non-mandatory course that all students SHOULD take.
Everyone is worried about the “requirements.”
Trust me, your daughter will figure out the requirements. I moved onto my college campus without hangers because I always had hangers when I stayed in hotels like Best Western or Days Inn as a kid. And I thought that a dorm was like a hotel.
Who knew you were supposed to bring your own?
But I figured it out.
Alongside all of my peers – no matter how “gifted” or “average” they might have been – we all figured it out.
What wasn’t as clear was the game plan on what to do after graduation.
For example, if your daughter is interested in a STEM career, what is the recruiting process? (Assuming that employers are after this type of talent at your respective school). When do you need to sign up for interviews? What are the must attend events? What are the more casual social events that give your daughter face time with a recruiter?
Or if they are determined to go into basket weaving. Who are the alumni who graduated in the same major and what are they doing with their lives? Are alumni attending career panels and events where your daughter can attend? Did they attend particular clubs or activities on campus? Or did they sign up for student memberships with a local professional association?
But now that your daughter is a student, focus on taking advantage of every single resource on campus.
And getting your daughter to advocate for herself. And develop relationships so that administrators can help advocate for her. Few young people think about these things.
No, the name of the school your daughter attends will not guarantee them a job.
No matter HOW amazing it is.
Just like entrepreneurs, they need a plan.
So please get your daughter thinking about this now.
And sign up to meet with a few administrators. Like Advising. Or the Career Center.
The four years will pass VERY quickly! So it’s never too soon to start building those relationships now.