Here are some suggestions about what families can do this summer to get off to the best possible start next year, and -as a result- feel a bit less stressed about transitioning to, or applying to college and independent school. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list; rather, we hope to plant some seeds that you and your family can grow together. Will your child be a college freshman in the fall?
- Parents can prepare the legal documents they need to be able to support an adult child with medical or financial decisions. Read this useful article, Getting Your Legal House in Order Before Your Adult Child Leaves for College, and know that you’re helping your graduate transition toward real independence.
- Adjusting to the challenges and freedoms of college is no small feat. Suggest that your child read 7 Things Graduating Seniors Should Know About College.
If you have a rising senior:
- Review our College Application Timeline so you have a sense of what to expect next year.
- Encourage your child to put together a basic resume. It will be useful for internships and co-op programs in college, and the act of compiling his work history will be a useful exercise in self-reflection.
Will your child be a junior this fall?
- Encourage her to clean up her social media presence this summer. Read How to Clean Up Your Social Media for College Applications.
- Review our College Application Timeline so you understand what’s ahead, in broad terms.
- Suggest your student begin work on the Common Application (it goes live on August 1; essay questions are already available).
- Together you can visit some nearby colleges. Keep in mind that campuses feel different in the summer than they do during the school year; these visits can be leisurely and may give your child a chance to gather initial impressions.
- Consider signing her up for a pre-college program if your child would benefit from academic enrichment.
- Encourage him to find a summer job!
If you have younger students:
- Ask them to think about one new thing they want to try next year. It could be anything: take a class outside of school, learn to sing, play an instrument, do calligraphy, try a new sport, or perhaps take on a leadership role in an area that is familiar to them.
- Begin to prepare for the ISEE and/or SSAT. Your student could prepare on his own with a test-prep guide, or get help from a tutor (there are many good tutors available; we’re happy to provide recommendations). Parents can follow a recorded webinar, “All about the SSAT,” or read What to Expect on the ISEE, to get background on the tests.
Fall comes quickly, and you’ll be back to your regular school and workday routines before you know it. Consider these possibilities, or come up with your own list, and know that any small steps you take now will pay off later when your family is reimmersed in the excitement (and sometimes chaos) of the academic year.