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The Transition from High School to College

By Sarah Shanahan on Wed, Aug 17, 2011 @ 10:31 AM

An IvyWise Student Talks About the Transition to College

I led a relatively sheltered life before leaving for college. As an only child whose parents wanted to ensure that I remained focused, I had been enrolled at an all-girls school for seven years. To their horror, I ultimately chose to attend the farthest school I applied to—Washington University in St. Louis, a shocking 16-hour drive from my home in New Jersey.

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Part 3: Academic, Social, and Financial Advice for College Freshmen

By Sarah Shanahan on Wed, Jul 06, 2011 @ 12:39 PM

Discuss Expectations With Your Parents:

There can be a significant gap when it comes to the expectations students and their parents have surrounding the roles each will play during these formative four years. Your parents, who may be paying for college, may presume that they still have some control over your life and expect you to come to them before making important decisions regarding academics, social life, or finances. However, you may assume that because you are living on your own, you can make your own decisions. Take some time now, as opposed to in the heat of the moment, to reach some common ground regarding resources, priorities, budgets, and values.  Some good topics to discuss are grades and academic commitment, finances (including living expenses, internships and work, and financial responsibility), and lifestyle (such as communication expectations, weekends and nightlife, and future summer plans).

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Part 2: College Freshmen - How to Prepare for the College Transition

By Sarah Shanahan on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 @ 01:46 PM

Get Into (the) Gear:

One way to feel mentally prepared for your new adventure is to get physically prepared. First, get organized: make piles of things to bring, things to store, things to toss, and things to give away. Most schools have suggestions on their websites of things to bring, as well as those that you should leave behind. This is a great exercise to do with a parent who may be more objective about what you will and won’t need at school. 

Shopping for dorm décor will help you picture where you will be living and get you excited about furnishing your own space. Decorating your dorm room according to your own taste and style will help make it feel like home, which may also ward off any home-sickness. Don’t forget the necessities, including extension cords, cleaning supplies and laundry detergent. These basic items, which were always just there before, signal the realities of independence. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to ask your parents questions, learn basic housekeeping, bookkeeping and checkbook-balancing skills, and start practicing good living habits (like keeping your room tidy!).

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Advice for College Freshmen: Preparing for the College Transition

By Sarah Shanahan on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 @ 01:15 PM

With the class of 2015 entering college in just a few months, now is the time for students (and parents) to prepare for the major life transition that comes with being (and parenting) a college student. On the one hand, students, you will need to be independent and responsible while adjusting to a new array of demands: time management, living in close quarters with a complete stranger, doing your own laundry (should the striped shirt be washed with whites or colors?). Meanwhile, your parents may be torn about encouraging this newfound autonomy as they struggle with their own feelings of relinquishment and an impending “empty nest.” The expert counselors at IvyWise have some great tips so you and your parents can make the most of the summer while easing into your new roles this fall.

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