Each week, the Alpharetta-Milton Moms Council receives email from readers with questions that they would like opinions on. They do this by clicking on the email the author button. Then, the moms answer the questions and bring our answers to you for more opinions. We hope you will join us in the discussion this week by adding your comments at the bottom of the page.
With all of the high school seniors going off to college this summer, many students will be moving away from home for the first time. Whether they go to a dorm or their first apartment, it is a fun and exciting time. This brings us to the question of the week.
Q: What advice would you give a college freshman venturing off for the first time?
A: I thought of a few things... but then I remembered that at this age, I really don't think there is much advice you can give that won't go in one ear and out the other. Once a mistake is made, perhaps they'll think BACK on advice you may have given, but I think this age is so much about self discovery, and becoming an adult that stopping to listen to advice is just not on the radar.
But if I DID think it would do any good, I'd suggest they remember first and foremost why they are there, and to balance their time to ensure good grades. Get involved. Try new things.
I tell my kids they have a responsibility to work hard and qualify for the Hope Scholarship despite where they may go (only because I know their grades are completely dependent on their efforts, not their abilities). I also remind them that I have no intention to pay for anything other than an education, and if they don't do their part to make a success of it, don't expect Mom and Dad to continue to pay while they figure it out. They are of course always welcome to stay home another year or two and work F/T while they gain the motivation and maturity they need. (Yes, that is a threat with a smile that puts the fear of God into them.)
Audrey Greenwood, mom of 3
A: I remember how excited I was and how I thought I knew everything when I first moved out of my parent's house. I have to agree with Audrey that it probably does not matter what advice the kids get, they will do what they want anyway! But, if someone were to listen, I would probably have a couple of things to say.
I would tell them to have fun and remember that they are young. They do not have to rush through school and race to get out and get a job. Kids should take their time and enjoy life in college. It can be such a fun time and not just a path to their future. So many people focus on the studying and the serious part of college. Live now, not just always for the future. Studying is important, but so is socialization and having fun.
I would also suggest that college freshmen do not live at home if they can help it. I think living on campus or in an apartment with other students is an important step for kids to learn to live with others. So much of the college years is about learning who you are as an individual. Take this opportunity to find yourself. Don't tie yourself down and don't get married while in college. If it is a perfect enough relationship to get married now, it will be in a few years as well. Take your time. Enjoy life. These years will go by fast and you will look back on them fondly.
-Tammy Bester, mom of 3
A: When my daughter went to college, I told her to take full advantage of everything that the school has to offer. I told her to go to events that she'd never think she'd be interested in, join organizations that interest her, and make friends with people that may have different backgrounds and experiences than her. I told her to study hard. And finally, I told her to have fun because it'll be such a blast!!
-Ronna Ruppolt, mom of 1