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Article: "The hardest test of freshman year? Survival."

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Replies to: Article: "The hardest test of freshman year? Survival."

  • Epson410Epson410 Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    edited September 14
    Agree!! Well put northwesty.
  • Epson410Epson410 Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    Re: parent involvement: the book "Paying for the Party" says that students with involved parents who nudge them in the direction of, for example, internships, do lots better. Mentors are good, but without a mentor, better have a parent.
  • youceeyoucee Registered User Posts: 1,011 Senior Member
    @luckymama64 I can totally relate to the 'ton of time on her hands' feeling. That can be a hard thing to adjust to and I did not do it well my freshman year. I've been open with my kids about it and have tried to have them learn from my mistakes.

    I can also see the point about too many choices for kids. Some majors only have about 8-10 required courses the first two years. Even with an advisor, you still have to distill 100 or more classes into the ones that will help you progress. Engineers have a much more defined path so it's not as much of an issue for them.
  • ProudpatriotProudpatriot Registered User Posts: 1,479 Senior Member
    @DunBoyer - I have an opinion that students who are not capable of managing their time without interventions is not ready for college. Some of them may be ready in future years. Some are not college material. I have no problem with the weed out process that happens at college. One of the reasons having a college degree is an achievement is that not everyone has one. If it were easy, everyone would have a college degree.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,084 Senior Member
    "We live a pretty structured life, and kids have a pretty regimented existence: school, home, sleep, start over. With only two classes a day, she has a ton of time on her hands--and no one to say, "Hey, why don't you do . . . now?" We suggested getting a planner and making an attempt to schedule her days. Are there any other tips?"

    With a rigorous curriculum, plenty of time should be spent outside of the classroom reading, studying, writing, etc. It's not unusual for my kids to be assigned 200+ pages of reading between each class per course.

    Part-time job 10-15 hours per week.

    Extra-curricular activities, intramural or club sports, exercise in general.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 16,897 Senior Member
    Hey, @DunBoyer , that's a heck of an excellent post.
  • garlandgarland Registered User Posts: 15,014 Senior Member
    If "two much time on her hands" doesn't change after the first couple weeks, there's something wrong. College classes take a lot of time to do okay, and a really lot of time to excel. Maybe things aren't ramped up yet, but they will be.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    edited September 16
    With a rigorous curriculum, plenty of time should be spent outside of the classroom reading, studying, writing, etc. It's not unusual for my kids to be assigned 200+ pages of reading between each class per course.

    At my LAC and elite/peer colleges, reading loads can go much higher than that, especially for the intermediate/advanced colloquium/seminar classes.

    While they're mostly taken by more advanced undergrads, if a first-year student demonstrated s/he fulfilled the prereqs for the advanced courses or expresses a serious interest in taking it and understands the heavy reading loads/expectations of greater independence/initiative regarding work outside of class(up to 80% - 90% of one's grade is determined by a final research paper), many Profs won't hesitate to admit them into the class.
    If "two much time on her hands" doesn't change after the first couple weeks, there's something wrong. College classes take a lot of time to do okay, and a really lot of time to excel. Maybe things aren't ramped up yet, but they will be.
    Post edited by MaineLonghorn on
  • ekdad212ekdad212 Registered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    @luckymama64: The "ton of time on her hands" is probably one of the biggest shocks that my kids experienced when going to college. I have a college sophomore and senior now. Like most kids, they lived a highly structured life before college, starting with elementary school, really, with scouting, sports, crafts, etc. When they got to college, it's like everything stopped and there was a huge vacuum. It's probably one of the least talked about aspects of college which is why I think it takes kids by surprise. Of course, they eventually learn to fill the time, hopefully productively, but yeah, It's shocking. Also the lack of bedtime or curfew!

    To bring this post on topic, I guess the kids that fill all the free time with non-productive things are the ones who struggle and fail.
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 875 Member
    We encouraged our kids to socialize, work and find summer jobs, and that really takes time, for a freshman to line up a professional summer job. They need to start that soon, or end up scooping ice cream back home, how embarrassing!

    Freshman can get research experience with REUs, and we asked our kids to "look into it" but did not offer them help.
    They need to learn to fend, so I took a very hands off approach and seemed to work OK. With one kid he got into London School of Economics for a summer semester, without our permission or a plan on how to pay for that, and I had warned him we would not pay for that. He did not believe me until I pulled the funding plug on his plan, with the words "Did you not understand NO when I said it three months ago?" He came home and taught sailing. It was his best summer as he learned responsibility and to like a paycheck. After that we had no issues with him finding summer work.

    College kids need to socialize, as part of their learning, away from mom and dad, to find themselves. I see nothing wrong with dropping out of college to work. I do not see that as a failure, but agree there is some kids running out of money, because they had no financial plan to start.
  • GTAustinGTAustin Registered User Posts: 778 Member
    With both of my kids and their friends, the freshman advisor's have not been helpful with the "too much time on your hands" problem. They have restricted the number of hours that they can take to 15 and one was as low as 12. After the first semester, my kids never took less than 18 and had no problem handling the load. They came from a background that kept them very busy and they knew how to plan and schedule their time.
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 2,600 Senior Member
    I'm going to add another concern: health. Students heading to college are usually going to a new environment, making choices in how they spend their day, what foods to eat (from increasingly broad menus on campuses), whether to exercise systematically, what to drink, when and how much to sleep (not to mention: with whom!?). My daughter came down with mono after her first week in college! That slowed her down enough so that she had to postpone a major class until summer.

    I've also written before on this forum about time management. College students, unlike high school students, aren't taking classes from 8 til 3. They typically have fewer hours in class per day than in high school. But there are 168 hours in a week (24x7). Students need a plan of some kind, in particular what to do between classes. They should indeed (as someone else mentioned) have a daily/weekly planner. They should indeed schedule their time to read and recreate during the day -- not leaving all "homework" til evenings and weekends. They should get some physical exercise. And they should get a good amount of sleep.
  • dustypigdustypig Registered User Posts: 885 Member
    I think @DunBoyer is right about running out of money, and also those who speculated that maybe a lot of those students were people for whom college was not the right path in the first place (or who simply weren't ready to go away to college yet).

    I seriously doubt that tons of students are dropping out in their freshman year because having a suite with their own bathroom has made them lonely.
  • t2b2cct2b2cc Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    The University of Texas at Dallas has the poshest dorms, private bedrooms within a suite shared by 3 with lounge, shower, microwave, and mini-fridge.
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