Teen Vogue – How to Make the Most of Your Time with Your Parents During Winter Break

It can be challenging to adjust to living under  your mom and dad’s roof and rules after you’ve been on your own at college. We  consulted the experts on how you can seamlessly transition to being back at home  during your winter break.

Initiate a conversation with your family. Instead of proclaiming  that you’re now an independent woman, show it through your actions. “I think the  biggest challenge is that college students are moving forward with their lives,”  says Gabbriel Simone, author of I Wish I Knew It Before Going to College (Morgan  James Publishing). “When they come back home, they can at times revert back to  feeling like they’re in high school and act immaturely. Rather than getting  upset, initiate a conversation with your parents.” By being proactive, you’ll  demonstrate your maturity.

Remember that this is hard for your parents too. If you’re  returning home after your freshman year, it’s only been a few months since you  left home. You’ve changed a lot in a short time span, but your parents think of  you as the same doe-eyed high school graduate you were when you left. “Before  you say anything, it’s important to try and put yourself in the shoes of you  parents,” says Rachel Simmons, Teen Vogue blogger and author of Odd Girl Out (Mariner Books). “Realize that a few  months may feel like forever to you, but they still see you as their little  girl. Try to emphasize and realize that most of the time, they’re worrying out  of love.”

Compromise. Your values may have changed while you’ve been inside  the college bubble, where the social norms are different than in the outside  world. If your parents aren’t keen on a later curfew (or none at all), offer to  call home and check in throughout the night. “When it’s time to talk, it’s  important to tell your parents that you want to come to a compromise and that  you need them to acknowledge that you’ve been living a different kind of life at  college,” says Simmons. “I don’t think that it’s fair to expect that you’ll get  everything you want in any kind of negotiation. Anyone thinking that restrictive  parents are going to suddenly become totally permissive is probably setting  themselves up for real disappointment.”

Prioritize privileges that matter most to you. If you present your  parents with clear, reasonable requests, they’ll listen and take you seriously.  “Decide ahead of time which privileges they might be willing to give up and  decide what really matters to you,” says Simmons. “If curfew really matters,  know that ahead of time. If drinking alcohol or sleeping in the same bed as your  significant other doesn’t, be ready to give that up.”

Be respectful. Screaming, stomping, and cursing will not get you  what you want; it’ll get you grounded. Even if you’re still in the throws of  your teenage rebellion, mind your manners. “Independence may feel total when  you’re in college, but the reality is that it’s only partial,” reminds Simmons.  “As long as you’re living under your parents’ roof, and especially if they’re  paying for your education, you do owe them some respect. I remember I got my  nose pierced my sophomore year and then I came home for Thanksgiving. My mom had  told me, ‘You can do anything you want, just don’t pierce your nose,’ but I went  and pierced it when I was on a trip with my friends. I came home for  Thanksgiving and my mother wouldn’t let me in the house.”

Use the time to reflect and relax. If your parents ask you to  adhere to strict rules, don’t think of it as torture. Use your time home to  detox from college; rest and relax. “I don’t think that students take enough  time to appreciate the quietness of home,” says Simone. “It’s something that you  don’t get in college.” Keep in mind that you’ll be back on campus in a few short  weeks, and appreciate your parents for more than the fact that they do your  laundry when you’re visiting home. Come second semester, you may just miss your  folks.

Read More http://www.teenvogue.com/advice/family-advice/2011-12/living-at-home-during-college-break#ixzz2DiQLwHbU

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Recharge for Finals

The semester is almost over.  It’s easy to blame your exhaustion on the stress of finals, the end of the semester, the papers and the projects.  Psych yourself out.  Recharge your brain.  Be a spark in the classroom.  Be intellectually curious.  Ask questions that everyone wants to know or has in mind.  Stay after class to clarify something with the professor.  Make sure they know you.  Be thorough and be committed to your academics.  Get through it and own it.

Juniors Starting the College Search

Attention high school juniors!  Now is the time to start your college search process.  Have any of you attended your schools college night event or sit and chat with your guidance counselor about college?  Are you overwhelmed?  There is so much information, so many new terms you’ve never heard of, the fear of the unknown, where do you even begin?  Well, first off – take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back for starting this process now.  This is the beginning and you have plenty of time to do your search but where do you start?

Heeeeeeeere we go – Starting the process 101:

  1. Go buy a notebook or binder – as you search schools online or attend college visits (which btw is the best way to see a school) start taking notes.  Separate your notebook/binder into a few pages for University A, University B, and so on.  Take notes on what you like, didn’t like, who you met, contact names of professors and admissions staff, and most importantly take notes on the admissions process including deadlines, tips the admissions staff give you, admissions criteria, etc.
  2. Take your classes seriously!  The better your grades the more options for applying to schools.  Also, admissions staff love to see an upward trend on students transcripts.  If you did poorly in 9th and 10th grade but picked up your grades in 11th grade it can help your chances of getting in (remember, I work in college admissions).
  3. Ask questions – students don’t know what to ask when they visit colleges, go on tour, and talk with admissions counselors.  Go on the Google and type in ‘questions to ask on a college tour’ and then click around on different links, find questions that you really want to know about and ASK them when you visit schools… yes YOU ask them.  Admissions counselors pick up on little things – personally I love when a student comes right up to me and ask’s me a question rather than hiding behind Mom or Dad.  It will be uncomfortable the first few times but find your confidence and ask those questions.

Just a few tips – easy enough, start your search!

college | time

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Pre-Finals Preparation

The semester is almost over which means that your dreaded final’s week will be here before you know it.  Yes, you can enjoy the rest of your semester by pushing everything aside until the week before finals and cramming the night away OR you can start preparing now!  If you start pre-finals preparation now you can do little by little to get organized without the stress and pressure of having to get it all done ASAP.  Here are some tips of how to get organized for pre-finals preparation:

  1. Separate your notes into folders or binders for each of your classes (especially if you’re one of those students who uses the same notebook or binder for all of your classes)
  2. Pick a class each day and create a new word document on your computer – as you flip through your notes start a list on your document with bullet points or if you’re feeling ambitious start a detailed outline of all your notes up to this point (when you go back to it the week before finals you will be REALLY happy to see everything you need to know, even if it’s just bullet points with key words to know)
  3. Figure out which classes you have final papers for and get the criteria now – starting your papers (even just an intro and then notes of what you will talk about) during Thanksgiving break will make it much easier when you come back to campus and work on your paper.  When you sit down to write a paper the hardest part is starting it but if you start it during Thanksgiving you will be ahead of the game right before finals and you’ll save yourself a lot of stress.
  4. Get Healthy! Eat right, get exercise, and sleep!  Force yourself to eat some veggies and go take a walk, take a fitness class, or spend some time at the gym – healthy body, healthy mind!

First | Semester | Almost | Over

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Attention Leaders!

Don’t always lead – its good to follow sometimes.  For all of you born leaders who think you need to take charge in every situation, it’s important to know that it’s okay to follow.  In fact, it takes some stress off and it teaches you to have trust in others.  What better place to step back for a minute than when you’re in college – the time to mix it up a little and try out new leadership techniques (yes, following others for a time or two is a leadership technique).

Step | Back