Did college make your D/S more confident and/or conversational?

<p>I have two high school boys. The oldest will be going to college this fall. One of my biggest hopes is to see them come back confident and way more conversational than they are now. We are lucky to get one word answers out of them when attempting to talk to them now. I notice that they are not much better with other adults. Although they definitely talk with friends more.</p>

<p>What are your experiences? Is there hope?</p>

<p>My daughter is sooooo much happier in college than she was in high school. She even went back for the summer. I would say her confidence and people skills in general have improved. She was always quite good at talking to adults, but didn't have much to say to people her own age because she just couldn't relate to them--nor them her. She has found a good place.</p>

<p>There is hope.</p>

<p>College really made my daughter more confident and self assured.</p>

<p>D just finished her junior year, and we feel she made the biggest strides in this area this year. Her study abroad experience was a huge help, but we think it was just "the right time." Our kids will blossom when they are ready ... if their personalities are meant to become more outgoing. Some folks will be a bit less conversational all of their lives, because that is just how they are. Others will come out of their shells. I recall that it took until junior year in college for me to open up, as well.</p>

<p>College has definitely made my daughter more confident and self-assured. Many of her high school teachers told me that she was easily intimidated (it was true). She was a top student and everyone knew it, but her. It was her accomplishments in college though that made her gain confidence.</p>

<p>Cbug, we had the same exact situation, except our older son has low on the spectrum Asperger's also. Came back from 1st year of college-happy, confident, much more talkative, more appreciative and aware of other people. Things couldn't have worked out better, and we are sometimes getting more conversations in a day than we did in a month. It was extraordinary how difficult it was to get more than one word answers before, I don't think he thought we were worth the effort. But it is so much better now!</p>

<p>D2, who had "needs to participate more in class" on every report card since K, has just finished her soph year and this year got a school job that requires interacting with the public, went though double moderation boards (essentially intensive interviews by a group of faculty for being accepted into a major), planned a study abroad semester not covered by her school's program, and got a job working for a high intensity boss for the summer...all on her own. She never would have had the confidence to do all that in high school.</p>

<p>For her older brother, the college experience made him stop and think before he opened his mouth, for which we were all grateful... :)</p>

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<p>Yes, D1 definitely came out of college a more polished conversationalist than she went in, and wittier too. But I can't separate how much of that can be credited to the college and how much was just because she went from being 18 to being 21.</p>

<p>Yes, yes, yes. The process started during senior year when S1 was in the position to make a lot of presentations. It morphed into advocacy, teaching, talking to the media and amassing an amazing network of folks from all his various interests. He actually speaks! In sentences! </p>

<p>He is FAR more confident now. Some of it is age, some of it is the realization that if he doesn't advocate for himself with advisors, profs, roommates, etc. in college, noone else is going to do it for him.</p>

<p>Absolutely! S found his tribe, so has lots in common to talk about. Also, during the first week of classes, he commented " it's nice to be where people appreciate my opnion".</p>

<p>(Not many teachers in HS 'got him',) he is so much happier at college then he was in high school. Yes, he is a quiet, quirky kid, and has blossomed since he got there.</p>

<p>Yes. And reading the other postings, I see that this is not unusual. </p>

<p>I see a few reasons for this:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>High school is a wonderful experience for a small number of students, and not so great for most.</p></li>
<li><p>For the most part, up until college the students attend the local public schools or private schools chosen by their parents. College is the first time most of them attend a school based at least partly on "fit".</p></li>
<li><p>For most it's the first time on their own and the skills learned increase self-confidence.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>
[quote]
For her older brother, the college experience made him stop and think before he opened his mouth, for which we were all grateful...

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Thank you. There is hope for my S :)</p>

<p>Another "Yes," tilted in a slightly different direction. D could always talk the ear off any engaged adult but was essentially a loner who recoiled from all the middle school and high school cliques, finding her niche in places like ballet, the high school orchestra, some of her AP classes, etc. </p>

<p>At college, she grew into leadership roles, became comfortably social with a very broad range of people, and, being across country, became very self-reliant on things like making travel arrangements and being able to improvise effectively when Stuff Happens.</p>

<p>Ah, going back and re-reading, I see MD Mom had a similar experience with her D.</p>

<p>
[quote]
For her older brother, the college experience made him stop and think before he opened his mouth, for which we were all grateful...

[/quote]
Wha-- Huh? Who said-- oh dear. Are you <em>sure</em> about this? <glyph of="" reviewing="" one's="" life="" with="" consternation=""></glyph></p>

<p>
[quote]
My daughter is sooooo much happier in college than she was in high school. She even went back for the summer. I would say her confidence and people skills in general have improved. She was always quite good at talking to adults, but didn't have much to say to people her own age because she just couldn't relate to them--nor them her. She has found a good place.</p>

<p>There is hope.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Are you and I sharing the same daughter? Ditto right here, an unbelievable transformation.</p>

<p>My son is more confident and self-assured if your interests happen to lie in the area of say fixing the timing problems with the Linux kernel. If you don't know what I'm talking about, he doesn't have much to say to you!</p>

<p>That said, he finally has friends with the same interests - it's been great for him.</p>

<p>Mathmom, LOL! I feel that way with S1 sometimes, too.</p>

<p>S2 was born talking and debating. College will not change him much in that regard -- though I hope he learns to advocate for himself better and goes reaching for the brass ring occasionally.</p>

<p>My D. has always been very outgoing and surrounded by friends. She had very good friends during HS. Now she is measuring everybody by this standard. I am afraid that nobody so far has measured up to that expectation. She still is very comfortable with all kind of people, but critical of them. One big learning experience in her college life has been sorority. She never lacked confidence though, and she does not like to be engaged in book discussions or political debates. She feels that it result in nothing but fightoing and nobody's opinions are changed, I strongly support this belief. She has very very good communication skills otherwise from whatever prospective. She was able improve them considerably further at college. She is a very good writer, can present and lead the group and is very good at interviews (by her own assessment).</p>

<p>In my family's case, no. Not with either of my kids.</p>

<p>This seems to be atypical.</p>

<p>I think the transformation at college can happen pretty quickly. We were worried about how our somewhat shy D would do once she got to college. We encouraged her to attend a college summer program during the summer bewteen her junior and senior year where she would live in a dorm, attend class and meeting new people. To say we were nervous at first would be an understatement.</p>

<p>When she returned after only 2 weeks, it was like a different person. She was much more confident and independent. It was a dramatic change for the better. The experience also taught her that she had to learn how to do laundry since all her clothes came back pink or shrunk.</p>

<p>We went to parents weekend and couldn't believe the change in only two months ... it clearly was our same child ... but her confidence level was clearly higher and she was more comfortable and open with us and other sdults ... and throughout her first year of college this growth continued. We can only hope to be so lucky the 2nd and 3rd times through this.</p>

<p>All the comments have been very encouraging to me as I am sending off such a great D this fall to school but she can often be intimidated and lack confidence and I'm hopeful college will help her bloom and it sounds like it will!</p>