What EJ Has Learned From His First Year of College!
When EJ was in high school, I pushed him to pass his AP classes so he could receive credit for his lower division college courses while in high school. By the end of his first year in college, he had just two of these courses left to complete. Typically, the advanced math and science classes are defined by the students as “weeder courses” because these courses weed out the students who question the incredible success that they achieved in high school and drop or change their college goals. The realization that a student’s hard work and success in high school can become challenging at an outstanding college is humbling.
Other noteworthy experiences gained this year at college include:
- My child learned to manage the traditional dorm meal plan selections without losing a ton of weight while choosing healthy food selections.
- Our son proved that he had the motivation and skill to manage basic, daily household chores.
- EJ has mastered a public transportation system in large and unknown cities.
- My kid is employable in a meaningful, financially gainful job that supports the school community.
- Leadership internship opportunities allowed EJ to share his challenges and successes with incoming freshman during Senior Weekend.
- When the going got tough, my son reached out to community resources and created a diverse village of support for two challenging classes.
- He learned that summer school is a solution for overcoming a course load that was too demanding to complete during a full semester.
- For social life, our son was able to bond with classmates from diverse cultures and continue to see some of his best friends at neighboring schools.
- I learned that my son has found a nurturing community church which he attends with some of his school friends.
- Future housing includes a student co-op system that focuses on life style themes (i.e. African American, Vegan, Community Service, and Women Only Co-ops). Through a co-op, students rent a room and select the number of roommates for an assigned room. All participants must work five hours a week at the co-op and perform household chores (i.e. maintenance, cooking, cleaning, or purchasing the food).
When I consider the growth and achievements that my son has gained in his first year away at college, I am relieved that he has acclimated to living without his parents nearby. I’m most proud of how EJ has managed his money and made personal decisions. I think he has done a good job of maintaining a balance with school and his relationships at home.
Bring on the summer!
Copyright © 2018 by GenParenting
Yvette King-Berg, is the Executive Director of Youth Policy Institute’s Charter Schools. She was the former California Charter Schools Association Vice-President of School Development and Outreach-Southern California. Ms. King-Berg has over thirty years of experience working with teachers, students, parents, and organizations in a variety of positions including Director, Assistant Director, Curriculum Advisor, Bilingual, and Title 1 Coordinators, classroom teacher (K-12) in Pasadena and LAUSD. She has been married for twenty-three years, and is the proud mother of her son, EJ, who attends UC Berkeley.