They enter college as adolescents and we expect that they will emerge in four to five years as capable adults with bright futures and careers, and that they will find their way to rich, rewarding lives. There is much at stake!
What happens in these critical years, and how can you help?
Here are some frequently asked questions:
Should I be worried if my student…
- Hasn’t selected a major?
- Chooses a major that does not seem practical?
- Keeps changing majors?
- Seems overwhelmed or confused?
- Gets lower grades in the first year than in high school?
It is normal to question.
Adjusting to college takes learning some new skills. You can help by encouraging them to learn more about themselves by getting involved in campus activities, taking career assessments through the LSU Olinde Career Center, and exploring majors and fields of work. If they are interested in fields in which you have personal contacts, it is great to open a door for your student to speak with that person to learn about the field.
The important thing is to listen. They will be more likely to find a satisfying career if you are a ready listener than if you suggest, guide, or lead your student into a career you think would be a good fit. Decision making, when done well, can lead to excellent results. Decision making is also a skill for life, so help your child by letting them choose, and have confidence that they will choose well.
Parents are the best career counselors, right? Not really! The words you say are so important to you child, even when they do not seem to be listening. While certain careers may be very appealing to you for a variety of reasons, they may not be right for your student. College is a time of growth and change. During these years they will change their interests, discover their values, and realize their strengths. Be aware of the resources and services we offer to help with the process and encourage your student to check us out.
Let them go.
Your child has looked to you for support, protection, and wisdom. If you have done a good job, he or she has begun the process of becoming the adult you will be proud of. Much of this transition will seem awkward and at times even painful. Avoid the temptation to rescue, take on their responsibilities, or give them your answers. They will find their own way and the journey will be a powerful experience. On graduation day, you will be hugging your adult child, a person ready to take on the world.
If you have concerns about your student’s progress toward their career decisions or career goals, we are available to consult with you to discuss the role you can play in helping them. While we cannot share information your son or daughter has discussed with us in a confidential session, we are happy to provide you with tips on how you can best help and point you toward resources you can share with your student. We are available for consultation by phone at 225-578-2162 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!