UAE graduating class of 2021: How to stay calm in the face of university – Dubai Psychologist, Kim Henderson, in Gulf News
The whole world is about to change. School’s out and university – the next big step on the path to adulting – can feel like a different planet. It’s the ultimate drop from a comfort zone and into a deep pool of what-ifs and what’s next. Even the most confident of teenagers may get nervous at this time.
“The transition can be tricky for some going from the big fish in a little pond to being a small fish in the big wide world,” explains Kim Henderson, Psychologist at German Neuroscience Center. Here’s a look at how teens – and their parents – can get ready to stretch the umbilical connect over the summer and get the freshmen and women ready for their new roles.
How can parents help make the transition from school to college smooth?
- Listen to their fears and concerns. Let them know you are there to help them at this important stage in their life, whether it’s in person, over the phone, via Zoom, etc. In the digital age, there can be no excuse for a lack of communication.
- Resist the urge to take control. They need space to grow and figure things out themselves. Let them work out what they need to pack, their new routine or timetable, etc. No matter how tempting, do not try to take-over and do everything for them.
- Gather information about what to expect. Much of the anxiety in transitioning to university/college is from knowing that this is a time of significant changes, but not knowing exactly what those changes are going to look and feel like. Try to get as much information as you can about the academic challenges, social life and culture of the college/university they are going to. Reach out to current students you may know, student services departments or student unions.
- Recharge relationships. Many teens will have been very busy studying over the last year and not had time to focus on relationships. Spend time with family and friends over the summer break. This will help you have positive memories and a freshly charged-up support network. Family support and healthy relationships are one of the most consistent factors promoting mental health resilience
You only do college once and the marketable skills you will learn while having fun will shine through far more in an interview than talking about something that you put up with for a tag line in your CV.
– Kim Henderson, Psychologist at German Neuroscience Center
Henderson believes that it’s important to talk about your child’s interests: “Remind your children to do things that you like not what looks good on your resume. It’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘right’ elective subjects or the ‘right’ extra curriculars. Take the subjects and classes that you love because that is far more important to have fun and enjoy what you are doing. You only do college once and the marketable skills you will learn while having fun will shine through far more in an interview than talking about something that you put up with for a tag line in your CV.” This will also generate interest and excitement for the period ahead and so stem nervousness.
The full and original article was published in Gulf News