Parent College Coach Tip #23: Dealing with Drama About College
Jul11

Parent College Coach Tip #23: Dealing with Drama About College

There are three tactics parents can use when dealing with these unexpected twists and turns along the road to college.

Read More
Parent College Coach Tip #22: With Freedom Comes Responsibility
Jul04

Parent College Coach Tip #22: With Freedom Comes Responsibility

July 4, 2014 Today is Independence Day and the very nature of the day causes us to think about freedom. For parents it reminds us of past conflicts both foreign and domestic; for teens, freedom takes on a completely different definition. They long for the day when they are free from parental authority and independent, on their own, in college. But with freedom comes responsibility. Functioning in the present When you’re young and your whole life is ahead of you, you tend to function in the present. Twenty or thirty years from now seems like an eternity to someone in their teens and twenties. But time has a way of catching up with us and every choice we make when we are young has both good and bad consequences. The trick is to know when those consequences aren’t worth the risk. And the other trick is to pause long enough before taking those risks to weigh both the good and the bad. A free choice with negative consequences All choices have consequences: good or bad. When teenagers enter college they are bombarded with choices. Should they study; should they socialize? Should they drink illegally or make the hard choice and stay sober? Should they skip class when they don’t feel like going or be responsible and realize that this is a paid education that they shouldn’t waste? As you can see, each of these decisions has consequences. Helping your college-bound teen learn this concept is critical before they have negative consequences. Lessons learned If you get anything from this bit of advice, let it be this: teach your teenagers to take time to think before they act. Weigh the good and the bad consequences. Then once they decide, make the best of their decision and swallow the good with the bad. Every path they will take in their life has the potential for greatness. Help them see before they head off to college that freedom brings responsibility –responsibility for their actions and the consequences of those...

Read More
Parent College Coach Tip #17: Don’t Waste the Summer
May23

Parent College Coach Tip #17: Don’t Waste the Summer

Colleges are looking for well-rounded students, and summer is the best time to beef up the resume; not only for college applications, but scholarship applications as well. And you’ll have an answer for the classic, “I’m bored!”

Read More
All Too Soon
Feb10

All Too Soon

“Mother, may I go out to swim? Yes, my darling daughter; Hang your clothes on a hickory limb, But don’t go near the water.” Our daughter will graduate from high school this spring. She was born in summer and skipped a grade, so it worked out that she made it through the public schools at the ripe old age of 16. She’ll turn 17 this summer and, hopefully, will enter a 4-year college this fall. So she’ll be 17 all the way through her freshman year. And this is what troubles us. First, there’s the matter of money. Can a 17-year-old obtain a student loan? Does she need a cosigner? What if her parents have (*ahem*) less than spectacular credit? Does being underage disqualify her from getting a work-study job? We know she can’t rent a car (and that’s a GOOD thing), but will her exclusion from any other “grownup” functions hamstring her at college? Then there’s the social aspect. Will being underage prevent her from attending certain social events, especially those relevant to her major, if alcoholic beverages are being served? Will a parental consent form suffice to allow her to participate? Are there other activities for which an underage freshman will be required to have consent? Of course, we don’t want her drinking and engaging in all the “activities” for which colleges are notorious (although we have no illusions about our little princess). But we don’t want her to be left out and unable to make connections, either. We HAVE made her a “JAILBAIT” sign for her to wear around campus, so at least we’re not worried about THAT issue. Sure. If only. Perhaps our concerns are overblown, but, you know, her mother worries. Any comments or advice from parents who have been in our situation are welcome. Related reading: When Your Child Turns 18 and Goes to College: What Parents Need to...

Read More
Parent College Coach Tip #1: Preparation Prevents Panic
Jan31

Parent College Coach Tip #1: Preparation Prevents Panic

Howdy! That’s a big ole’ Texas way of introducing myself and welcoming you to my Parent College Coach Tips on Smart College Visit. I am indeed from Texas and I am a parent advocate. Every parent needs an advocate during the college prep process and I’m here to help. Every Friday I will be sharing my college prep tips from a parent’s perspective and hope to help you navigate the college maze. These will be small nuggets of information to keep you informed about everything parents want to know, need to know, and should know about preparing their teens for college. An informed parent is a prepared parent and knowledge is power when it comes to the college prep process. Today’s tip is simple: preparation prevents panic. There will be deadlines to meet, forms to complete, tests to take and letters to secure; all this on top of your student’s regular classwork and extracurricular activities. Prepare in advance for scholarship applications, standardized tests, and the college applications. Don’t run around like a “chicken with your head cut off” when deadlines approach madly searching for forms and documents minutes before the deadlines. As school progresses, prepare for every aspect of the college prep process and you’ll sleep easier, have less stress, and your college-bound teen will be able to enjoy his/her senior...

Read More
Donna Cavanagh: The Empty Nest Goes to the Dogs on #CampusChat
Jan27

Donna Cavanagh: The Empty Nest Goes to the Dogs on #CampusChat

Join us for #CampusChat on Twitter | Wednesday | January 29, 2013 | 6p PT / 9p ET hosted by @collegevisit! With college application deadlines looming, it won’t be long before admission offers start rolling in. Then, in just a few months, and several thousand dollars later, students will move into dorms and parents will transition to their new role as “empty nesters.” Donna Cavanagh, who’s been-there-done-that,  will show us how a little humor (and maybe some help from four-legged friends) will help to fill that empty space. Follow Donna @dtcav. Donna Cavanagh is a humor entrepreneur and founder of HumorOutcasts.com and HumorOutcasts Press/Shorehouse, a publishing brand which this year became a division of UR Business Network. Cavanagh began her business as a small venture to offer writers a forum to showcase their work in a world that offered few avenues for humor. Ironically, HumorOutcasts.com quickly became a comedy conglomerate featuring the creative talents of more than 100 aspiring and accomplished writers, filmmakers, illustrators and comics. Today HumorOutcasts.com is the “go to” site for eclectic comedy and humor. From a “G” to a “just might make you blush” rating, there’s something for everyone. As a writer herself, Cavanagh can’t stop the humor. A veteran journalist who detoured into humor writing, her books and stories have earned her an international audience and national acclaim. Cavanagh is a faculty member of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop and The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. A USA Books Contest finalist (Life On The Off Ramp), Cavanagh’s latest book, A Canine’s Guide to the Good Life, was penned with her dogs, which as you might imagine was no small feat (or should we say “paws”?). Host of BlogTalk’s HumorOutcasts Radio, she is also a publisher at UR Business Network and host of their show “Write Out Loud”. You may want to read:...

Read More