I have been a higher education administrator for over a decade. In that time I have worked primarily with first year students, and I have done so in various capacities. I’ve done everything from planning concerts to providing academic advisement. I’ve worked for large schools and smaller ones, both private and state. I’ve interacted with students who are humbled by the opportunity to attend college, and I have also worked with students who have a sense of entitlement like you wouldn’t believe.
But, with all the differences I’ve encountered, I have also observed many similarities amongst my students. Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that they are all unique and each student has their own personal story. But, regardless of their backgrounds, many of them often face the same challenges.
Students will make mistakes in college. It’s expected because those mistakes are part of the growth process. But, oftentimes, students make mistakes that stem from a lack of preparation, and those mistakes make the college experience more challenging than it needs to be. Those mistakes affect their ability to succeed.
I have had countless conversations with friends and colleagues working in higher education and I can say, confidently, that they would agree with the tips below. As a parent of two children who are under the age of three, I plan to start teaching them these skills early on, in the hopes of giving them a strong start when they pursue their college education.
Most colleges have a public speaking course as a graduation requirement (although a few don’t). But, when students arrive, many of them struggle because they fear public speaking, and they try to avoid the course for as long as they can. We would help our kids out so much if we encouraged them to speak publicly at an early age. It builds confidence and it gives them one less challenge to conquer when they go to college. (Photo Credit: visual.dichotomy)