In this week's College Corner we encourage parents to begin talking with their students regarding how career and college relate. Here are a few tips and discussion starters that like to use as we interact with students on a daily basis. We hope you find them helpful:
• Talk about college regularly. Relate it to jobs, careers, school, sports, your life and the lives of other adults in your child’s life, etc.
• Ask them what they want to do when they grow up and relate that job or career to what they could study in college to do it. Talk about jobs and careers as you interact with them in daily life. When you go to the grocery store, you could talk about managing a grocery store or a farmer raising the produce or creating the advertisements you see on television; if you are shopping for a new home, you could talk about building houses, or being a Realtor or an architect; driving in the car, you could talk about designing cars, building bridges or cleaning up the trash in the world by becoming an environmental scientist. Students may not think past the checker or bagger they see at the grocery store, and may need a little more explanation to understand how other people and jobs fit into the picture. It’s also a good time to clarify the difference between a job and a career.
• Go to sporting events (yes, sports!) or cultural and educational activities on college campuses. Plan to spend some extra time just wandering around campus while you’re there, especially when students are around. Walk through buildings and the library, sit in a classroom, etc. This gives your child a visual image to place themselves into, that will go with their ideas about college in their future.