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You Can’t Pick This Up at Wal-Mart: Five Ways to Prepare for Bellarmine This Summer


1. Finances

All incoming students should have access to their finalized Financial Aid Package and fall semester bill from the Bursar. Students access financial aid and bills via my.bellarmine.edu (Student Tab–>My Account Information).  If you and your future Knight haven’t already had “the talk,” now would be a good time to discuss finances and budgeting: How much will your student contribute to costs while attending Bellarmine? After graduation? What minimum grades are needed to maintain scholarships? If your student plans to working during summers and/or the academic year, help him or her craft a practical budget that meets everyone’s needs.

2. Time Management

Managing one’s time is a big hurdle for all new college students. Typical high school schedules are laid out in consecutive blocks. Parents typically play a major role in ensuring their kids arrive on time to school and extra-curricular involvements. So, most high school students have not been responsible for micromanaging days, weeks, and months. This summer it might be helpful to encourage your future Knight to begin taking personal initiative and developing independence. For instance, let your son or daughter use an alarm to get up and, if necessary, learn about the consequences of mismanaging time over the summer before possibly moving away where you won’t be there to monitor.

3. Social Life

Second to questions about residence hall furnishings are parents’ concerns about future freshmen spending what seems like an overwhelming amount of time with high school friends throughout the summer. Instead of fretting over the amount of time you don’t see your son or daughter, concentrate on the moments you do see him or her. Take advantage of those daily, seemingly inconsequential, interactions. Understand that these young adults are probably just coping with the big changes by holding on to the familiar. You also may consider initiating a day trip or a family night and involve your future Knight in on the planning: What do you want to do?

4. D.I.Y.?

Does your son or daughter really know how to do laundry? Sometimes the clichés are just true, so if you’ve never actually seen it happen, it might be possible that your pride and joy doesn’t really know what goes in to sorting, choosing detergent, and selecting cycles. You know your son’s or daughter’s skills better than anyone, so take a minute to inventory some of the indispensable, yet overlooked, life skills and determine what you can teach this summer.

5. Academics

There isn’t a lot that students can do during the summer to prepare academically—most of it was sweated out in high school. Some advise that students read certain books (which certainly wouldn’t be frowned upon!); however, the most basic way students can prepare is by looking over their class schedule in relation to their major and Bellarmine’s General Education requirements. Students should understand what function each class plays—gen. ed, major requirement, or elective. If students have questions about their schedule or want to inquire about a change, they should contact the Academic Resource Center and ask speak with an advisor. In addition, summer is a good time to do a little research or soul-searching about majors and areas of interest. For example, job shadowing allows one to see a day in the life of a career. Before college even begins, students might realize a certain career path isn’t for them. It may also be beneficial for students to set goals for the first few weeks of college.  For instance, “I will stay caught up with all of my assigned reading, and I will join at least one club or organization.”

In addition to snagging that perfect set of extra-long twin sheets, there is plenty that you and your family can do to prepare for Bellarmine. Remember, the staff in Student Affairs (orientation, student activities/organizations, counseling center, career development, residence life, and commuter center) and the Academic Resource Center (advising, learning communities, parent communication, Pioneer Scholars, and tutoring) are here to help you and your student along the way.

Cassie Book
Director of Parent Communication
Academic Resource Center


About Cassie

I'm the Director of the Writing Center and Director of Parent Communications at Bellarmine University.

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