Last edition we asked parents: "What suggestions would you have for other parents to help their students start planning now for the summer? How can parents help students choose whether to enroll in classes, pursue an internship, travel abroad for academic or career interests, or get a jump on a good summer job?"
Our thanks to the experienced parents who submitted the following suggestions:
Our daughter came home for the summer after completing her freshmen year. She had a job secured and was able to work through August. She would have been bored without a good job! We expect she will want to explore internships in the summer of '12. She is already connecting with staff in her school and is excited about the many choices that are available. She keeps us informed and we always ask open ended questions to gain a better understanding of her thought process. We know this is an important step in her personal and career development and what could be a once in a lifetime experience. We are encouraging her to thoughtfully consider her options and to think about the full experience and what she will get out of it. We will figure out the finances once she finds the "right fit". While it is hard to let her go, it is much more rewarding to see her grow personally and professionally.
Listen to what they say. What do they feel most passionate about?
I have two students in college, and each had different needs. My son really needed to take advantage of summer class opportunities each summer in order to round out his education and fulfill degree requirements. As a result he spent one summer at the local community college taking physics, and another summer at the UM Biological Station taking two biology classes. Both summers were terrific experiences. The down side is that he did not work during the summer to earn some money and get job experience. My daughter, on the other hand, took advantage of opportunities at the local hospital to assist in performing research questionnaires, and statistical analysis, setting the stage for her interest in public health. Great summer opportunities like hers take a bit more effort, networking with professors, using personal family friendships, etc. But the payoff can be worth the time invested.
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