Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Senior Year Roller Coaster

For students, the senior year of high school begins with high expectations, excitement, and energy for the most wonderful year of school. Thus begins the roller coaster of the senior year.

As the year progresses, seniors must deal with their academic courseload -- either more challenging than the previous year; or if taking it easy, then a stagnating and boring daily schedule. Next comes the stress of applying to and awaiting acceptance to college. The college admission process begins with the anticipation of great opportunities following the senior year, but as the year progresses there is the growing realization that there is a real change that is about to take place that will put the student potentially in a brand new and unfamiliar environment.

This creates a variety of responses from different students. Some gain enthusiasm and excitement in anticipation of the coming change. Others begin to realize the many unknowns that are looming and full or partial retrenchment takes place. Some students shut down on the college search and application process -- sort of, "if I don't acknowledge it's there, then it will go away." Others start to rethink, even doubt, their aspirations and/or their desire to be further away from home.

All of these can create what some observers call "separation anxiety" that can be experienced in many different ways. It is important that students openly express these concerns so that those around them can understand and even help them move through what is a normal progression in the senior year. This is part of the maturational progress -- dealing with uncertainty and moving forward towards the future, and if not openly dealt with can become frustration to the student as well as parents and teachers.

Monday, December 10, 2007

First Thoughts on College Directions Blog

Going to college is a major life step and investment, not only in time and energy but also as in financial resources. This blog is designed to help students (and parents) gain some insights into the critical importance of their being well-prepared for and researching carefully the choices that are available for post-secondary education.

College is an educational pursuit and as such the learning aspects should be the primary focus for students on their preparation and enrollment in college. In addition, it is also a time of maturational growth and development in personal and social areas, and students need to be aware of and prepared for that aspect of college as well.

College Directions will focus on and comment upon the developmental aspects of preparing for and pursuing college and college admission, current topics in college admission, and the role that students and parents have in making this a successful transition into adulthood.