School is fun but college can be even more pleasurable. Here is how to help your child make a smooth transition.
Is your child making the inevitable transition from school to college or high school? This will be the first of many transitions—from school to college, from college
to university, university to an office, from one city to another,
perhaps from one country to another. The number of changes that we have
to accept during the course of our lives is endless. However, there is
no reason why these transitions should be difficult.
What it entails
College is radically different from school. On the sunny side, it is a carefree period of fun and enjoyment. It is the stage when your child has her first taste of independence. The closeted atmosphere of school gives way to the freedom of the college
canteen, lectures that can be 'bunked', and professors who are
sometimes greeted with first names. There are different activities to
participate in, friends to make, and a whole new vista of opportunities
to discover. Additionally, your child will finally be learning the
subjects of her choice.
Nevertheless, it is not a bed of roses. College has a relatively less protective environment than that of school.
Students are expected to be able to manage their studies and projects
on their own. Often, subject matter is not offered on a platter and
requires research. Your child may decide to opt for a college located far from home. In that case, it will involve a lot of travel, which may take a little getting used to.
What your Child Goes Through
This depends more on your child's temperament. If she is the bubbly and confident type, you may find yourself reeling under the enthusiasm! However, shy and quiet children may find the transition quite traumatic. Even for children looking forward to it, the first few days do bring some amount of shock.
It is easy to achieve recognition in school. In college, in the vast sea of students, your child may experience a feeling of obscurity. His primary concern will be that of making new friends. If he is not disposed to find friends quickly, this can be a huge cause
for worry. Additionally, there are pressures of appearing 'cool' in
order to find acceptance. Your child may feel that he is nerdy or
boring. Another concern these days is ragging and bullying. Ragging can
take on serious proportions at times, and is therefore illegal in
several states. However, many children continue to be victims. If your
child is going to live in a hostel, he may be anxious about bullies.
It is essential that you support your child
completely through the changeover. Do not let him feel either
pressurised or anchorless. Your child may be loathe to leave the safe
cocoon of school and step out into the wide world. Explain to him that change is the only thing constant in life. Highlight the advantages of college. If he has a few friends, classmates, or other acquaintances, joining the same college, the transition
will be easier. Encourage him to talk to other students during
admissions and interviews. Do not burden him too much with worries
about his school examination results.
Enrol your child in a personality development course, as it will help her to feel more confident. The college
environment requires one to be more enterprising and creative. Building
up relevant skills will help in this. If your child is going to learn a
new language, let him take up a preliminary course. He can attend
workshops pertinent to his subjects as well. If your child is so tense
that he starts having nightmares or breathing problems, consult a
In preparation for the first day of college,
ensure that your child has a proper wardrobe. Do not go overboard but
let her not feel out of place either. In addition, you will need to buy
a new backpack depending on the stream that your child is opting for. School bags are generally too large to be used for college. However, courses like engineering may require more space for the tools and materials. Have your child visit the college a few times to acquaint himself with the surroundings and layout before the first day.
Impress upon your child that college is a time for fun and learning, and he will enjoy himself.
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- The Indiaparenting Team
Do you miss your college days? Which do you think is more enjoyable—school or college? Has your child finished school? Does he fear going to college? How are you preparing him for the change?
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