Tips for Junior Year Families
DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS!
Major decisions are being made; the first two years are over, and students begin to feel excited and nervous about their future. They may want to explore job possibilities or step outside their comfort zone and try a new elective. Throughout this year of exploration, it’s important that students continue to stay on track for graduation. Encourage your student to meet with their advisor to discuss graduation plans and make sure they have all the classes needed. College juniors are surprised to find they are running short on credits and need to make sure they are on the right track. Students need to take initiative of their own future and take advantage of opportunities that can serve them in life after Shepherd.
Students in their junior year need to start applying for spring and/or summer internships, even participating in clubs and organizations where they can test out their leadership skills. Students need to begin working on their resumes in preparation for their final year ahead and add all the activities and opportunities they participated in during the years. Students should begin to think about their future by starting to research career opportunities or graduate school options, and begin to plan for the transitional stage of senior year. Career Services is a great place to begin that next step!
WHAT CAN PARENTS AND FAMILY MEMBERS DO?
Your student has a lot of decisions to make about their future and some of their friends may be graduating. Their professors may be harder on them and may expect more out of their students. This means no more reminders for deadlines, exams or extensions. Students are often enrolling in more rigorous and specialized courses and perhaps exploring ideas for their Senior Capstone project. It may be a stressful time for your student, listening to them vent is all they may need.
Junior year is an opportunity for parents to help propel students out of their comfort zones and encourage them to explore and reach higher. Parents can provide guidance and share their own experiences in beginning the job search and/or graduate school application process, and help students begin this transitional phase of their lives. Opportunities are out there, and this is a great time for students to think about their life after college.