As many of you know, the spring semester grades have been posted. The end of an academic year is always a time for reflection on the year’s major challenges and accomplishments, and maybe make some changes. I have spent this semester working with students who were on academic probation after a rocky first semester. A good number of them have made an impressive turnaround, and they have assured me they’ll keep me updated on their progress in the fall. I know that at some points this week it must have flashed through their mind how much they’ve been through this year, and all they’ve learned in and out of the classroom.
There are lots of ways your student can still work toward improvement over the summer and into next year (see my upcoming email memo with LOTS of helpful practical info about this), but one big thing comes to mind that you and your student should be talking about: how next year will be different.
For the parents of freshmen, your student is a seasoned college student now, a veteran who knows the ropes. Well guess what–sophomore year is a whole new ball game. Freshman year is all about exploration–everything is new. Sophomore year is about commitment and decision-making. But this is a great thing! There are a lot of key things that happen during sophomore year, and we here them from sophomores over and over again.
-Emotional relationships–Sophomore year is a key time for your student’s emotional maturity, and s/he may find him/herself in new romantic relationships and, most likely, new and more solid friendships.
-Academic motivation–Now, your student really gets his or her first taste of what’s it’s like to study instensely in the field s/he has chosen. For many students, this is exciting and they start to develop as professionals and scholars (at least a little bit). Though their classes become more challenging, their engagement and interest tends to match that challenge. and now that students have those much-needed first year study skills, they know exactly how to handle the tough stuff.
-New interests–Now that your student is shaping his/her acadmic pursuits, s/he may start to “diversify the portfolio” by becoming more serious about a particular club or other interest, or adding a minor.
-Independence–Your student will most likely find him/herself craving the opportunity for more decision-making power, maybe more time away from you, and handling things on his or her own.
Now, parents of upperclassmen, y0u know how this goes, so I am interested–and I think the parents of rising sophomores would be to, to hear what you have to share about your students’ sophomore year.
Class of 2005
Director of Writing and Parent Communications