What courses they want to take and what colleges they want to study at are some of the most important decisions of your young person’s life, especially since this is one of the first decisions they will have to make for themselves. However, if they are feeling overwhelmed by the decision ahead of them and are panicking about making it, here are some ways to help your offspring.
Find Out Their Eligibility
One of the first steps you should take as a parent if your young person is about to head off to college in the next few years is to find out what colleges they are eligible for and what the requirements of each college in question are. It can be disappointing for your teenager to see their dreams dashed if they are unable to get the grades that they need for the college that they want to go to. However, if you find out the admission requirements for their top colleges as soon as possible, this will give them the time they need to study hard and get the grades they need, and do any extra requirements. Consider using websites like Campus Reel to find out what GPA is required for Stanford and other colleges that your teenager may hope to attend. You don’t want to be blind going into their final years at school only to find out too late what they should have been aiming for!
Help Them With Research
Although the internet has made researching colleges easier than ever before, the amount of information that is available can be daunting to your young person. They may struggle to scroll through pages and pages of information about potential colleges and courses. Instead of leaving them to do this by themselves, you should consider helping them with their research. For instance, you might find them the best careers and college websites that can give them an overview of the colleges that are options for them and what courses may be best to take for their career. You might also sit with them while they research colleges so that they have someone to discuss their findings with and calm them down when they get stressed.
Take Them to Open Days
One of the best steps you can take to help your young person make the decision that is best for them, though, is to take them to college open days so that they can see the possible colleges they could attend in the next few years with their own eyes. You should also start doing this as early as possible so they can start planning long before they come to the end of their schooling and before they have to balance college applications with their school examinations. This can help them pick up the atmosphere and student life of the colleges in question, as well as speak to professors about the courses on offer. You may also get a chance to see the accommodation and to speak to staff members about any financial concerns that you may have. College open days can put your minds at rest for both you and your teenager and ensure that you know they have a bright and happy future ahead of them.
Give Them the Option
You should always give your child a lot of options throughout their education, from choosing what school is right for them to what subjects they want to study at school. You should also not allow them to think that college is their only option when they leave school. Instead, you should always give them plenty of options when it comes to what they are going to do with their lives, and you should offer to help them research apprenticeships, internships, and jobs if that is the path they want to go down. This can help your young person get an education on the job and in a way that works for them, with many young people preferring more practical forms of learning over academia.
Give Them Emotional Support
There is a lot that you can do to help them, but a lot of the time, all you need to do as a parent is give them the emotional support they need while making these giant decisions. By doing this, they will be able to have a clearer head and will be able to rest in the knowledge that you will love them no matter what course of action they choose to follow. You should ensure that they know that you are always happy to talk to them about their decision and that you are there for them. You might even simply step away and bring them snacks and a listening ear when they need it. This will then ensure that your young person never feels as if making their own decisions about their education is scary.
Let Them Make Their Own Decision
Too many parents think that they must influence their children when it comes to making decisions about their education, and decide everything from what clubs and sports their child does to what they major in. However, as a parent, although you might encourage them to play to their strengths and follow their passions, you need to respect your child’s dreams and wishes and ensure that they are leading the way when it comes to deciding what to do next, even if you do not agree with their decision or think that they would be happier following another career path. By doing this, you will be giving your teenagers autonomy and will be paving the way for them to have the happiest future possible. Don’t push them to follow in your footsteps and let them pave their own career.
As a parent, your young people’s decision-making regarding their education can be worrying, and yet you need to let them decide for themselves what it is that they want to do next, if they want to learn more. This will then ensure that your kids can get the careers that they want and that they can be content with the decisions that they make.