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 students 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 in daily life. When going to the grocery store, talk about managing a grocery store or a farmer raising the produce or creating the advertisements seen on television; if shopping for a new home, talk about building houses, or being a Realtor or an architect; driving in the car, 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 at the grocery store, and may need a little more explanation to understand how other people and jobs fit into the picture. This may also be 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, especially when students are around. Walk through buildings and the library, sit in a classroom, etc. This gives a student a visual image to place themselves into, that will go with their ideas about college in their future.