I saw an article on Facebook this weekend about a study that was recently done. 67,000 college students from over 100 college campuses were surveyed. They found that 3 out of 4 college students are stressed. The article lists various reasons for the stress including:
- Mounting expectations
- Evolving self-identify
- Shock of leaving home for a new place
While going to college will understandably be stressful and you can’t eliminate all your child’s stress, I want to provide guidance on one area that you can act on to help reduce the stress of your high-schooler before and during their years in college.
If you have followed me long enough, you know I talk about how the reason you go to college is to get the education you need for the career that you want. Yet so many kids today still attend college without a clear plan. They pick schools just because their friends are going there, or it’s a well-known school, or it’s not far from home. While those are valid considerations in picking a school, the bottom line is that you still need to graduate with a particular major. You can go in as undecided, but you run the risk of not getting accepted right away into the school once you decide. Not getting in right away means more time in college and more money being spent.
More time + more money = more stress.
Your child could also attend college with a particular major in mind but then realize that it wasn’t what they really wanted to do. This can lead to depression and more stress. I have a friend whose son graduated from GA Tech with honors and then realized after he graduated to get the jobs he really wanted he would have to go back to school. But, he was tired of going to school and wasn’t willing to go back. He had to basically re-think and get re-educated on finding something that he would really like to do.
How can you as a parent help your child avoid these situations that can cause stress?
- Talk to Your Child – Have conversations around the dinner table about their interests, find out about what YouTube videos they watch, think about the kinds of gifts they ask for. Having these conversations can help your child start thinking about their future and creating a plan. You can download my guide “Learn How Your Child’s Interests Can Lead to Their Ideal College” where I provide more ideas on how to talk to your child.
- Take an Assessment – Have your child complete an assessment to help them narrow down careers they will truly enjoy. Did you know that there are data and tools available to help match your child’s interests to a great career? Every child I work with tells me they can’t believe how many different careers that are out there that they are likely to enjoy and succeed in. How can we expect our kids to pick a career when they don’t even know all the options out there?
If you want to help your child reduce their stress by having them take an assessment to narrow their career choices, then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to read more about the study, click here.