For those of you who don't know, this blog was part of my professional contribution in order to graduate with my Master's Degree ... a big part of that contribution was doing a lot of research. One thing that I found and thought was so interesting is that students who come from homes with an established college culture are more likely to attend and succeed in college. You may be saying to yourself, that's great but how do I do that? I am here to give you my suggestions, based on all of my research (if you want to read my paper, I'd be happy to give you a synopsis!) and experience!!
1. Talk about college in your homeThis may seem obvious, but it actually doesn't happen as much as you'd think. I know a lot of students, friends, and even family members where college was never part of a home conversation. It is easy to talk about, you can connect with it sports, academics, clubs, travel, experiences, anything! Just start the conversation!
2. Walk around college campusesIt is summer time, so use this beautiful weather to walk around college campuses with your family. If you live next to one locally, make that a part of your daily walk or just make a trip each month. When you're on vacation or in a city that your student loves, walk around some campuses while there. Being in that city will get them excited thinking about spending four years of their life living there too. Many colleges have beautiful walking paths and gorgeous buildings to look at, so head on over after you read this post and immerse yourselves in the beauty of chasing college!!
3. Tell stories about your college experienceYour child needs to know your crazy stories with life lessons. Not only is this a great way to connect with them, but it also lets them see how exciting college can be, besides studying and writing papers. Ironically, it was my dad's in-the-classroom stories that got me most excited about going to college, but no matter the subject matter, talking about it gets it on your student's mind!
4. Talk about why you didn't go or what you wish you had studied insteadIf you didn't go to college, have a real conversation with your children about what you think you are missing because you didn't go. I've read a lot of case studies and heard from a lot of students that the reason they are so passionate about going to college is because their parents didn't have the opportunity ... something to think about! Even if you did but wanted to major in something else, talk to your students about that. It can help them steer away from Nursing and go full force into their love of Theatre or History!
5. Help them find a passionWhile this may not be directly related to college life, but helping your child find something they are passionate about can lead them directly to college. Whether they are passionate about Baseball and want to play for another two or four years, college is that opportunity. It may also take shape of summer camps or visit opportunities that take place on college campuses, or careers that you need a degree for. All of these things can help your student realize college is for them, so make sure you are helping them find and pursue that passion!!
6. Take them to enriching activitiesA final way to increase the depth of college culture in your household is by taking your children and their friends to enriching activities. Enriching activities could be: dance performances, classical concerts, art shows, museum exhibits, town hall meetings, sporting events. Anything that is going to have your child stopping and critically thinking about something is going to help their brain grow and thus their desires for the future. Opening their eyes to every opportunity out in the world can truly help them see where their future and college lies!
I hope you all found this post interesting in terms of creating or increasing the parameters of your family's college culture. It is something that is never fully achieved and will never be perfect, but every little step, conversation, and event can help make your student all the more excited and interested in going to college!! Have a great day!
enjoy the chase,