College and Social Responsibility

College and Social Responsibility

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College brings many opportunities for students. The most important opportunity is preparing for a career. College is also brings opportunities for students to develop social skills and make friendships that last a lifetime. But how do these new social opportunities affect the student's academics?

Each year, some students lose the privilege of attending college due to poor grades caused by too much social life. Here are some ideas that may prevent the "social life" degree overtaking the academic degree.

Discuss social responsibility with your student. Discuss underage drinking, drug use, dating relationships, and social skills (picking up your stuff, respecting quiet times, and using hygiene skills). Develop the "sharing space with others" skill.

Students with this skill enjoy their dorm experience more than those that struggle to share space. Define what is and what is not acceptable and then list the consequences ranging from sanctions from Mom and Dad to a police record. Let your student know you expect him or her to meet your expectations.

Tell your student stories about your own college or moving out experiences. These stories can share lessons without your student going through the tough experiences. This is also a great way to start that social responsibility conversation and keep the communication channels open.

Let your student know the consequences of good and poor choices. Remind them that you can remove funding and bring the student home if he or she doesn't meet the expectations of the college or Mom and Dad. Discuss the consequences to scholarships, loans, and grant money, not just at the current institution but also for the remainder of the student's education.

Discuss the cost of not completing college. Include the cost to future earnings, cost to future promotions, and the cost of paying student loans without a degree. Keep in contact with your child. Send old-fashioned letters and packages (students love this), send email, call occasionally but don't go overboard.

If you feel your student is not doing well, know the people to contact before the crisis develops. Know the tutoring center contact information, mediation center phone number, and other support services locations. Sometimes your student is just too overwhelmed to find the help on their own

Let your student handle as much as possible. College is a growing experience, developing responsibility and creating the beliefs and goals that build the student's future. Socialization and networking start here as well. Just remember that many "right ways" of balancing academics and social life exist.

Your student wants to make Mom and Dad proud. Cheer the accomplishments knowing that though some mis-steps may happen, overall your student will remember your expectations and maintain the balance necessary to wave that college diploma high.

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