0 Replies Latest reply on Feb 27, 2015 1:25 PM by ddmcclean

    Innovative Way to Prepare Students for College Living - Part 2 of 5




      Lesson 2 of 5:   "Building A Balanced College Social Life"



      Many students enter college without adequate preparation. Even with the most
      supportive parents, counselors and student life leaders, many wonder if they
      will fit into the college social scene.  Others over-commit and find themselves
      struggling academically because they are pulled in too many directions.  You can
      help your students face their anxieties, find balance and gear up for what can
      be an exciting college social life.  Here are few tips to help you do this.


      Get Involved...


      New friends are arm's length away


      The simplest way for students to start getting involved is to connect with
      those around them. Instead of waiting for peers to start a conversation, they
      can initiate by introducing themselves to others in their class, dorm, library,
      etc.  For the introvert, this can be daunting especially in a new environment. 
      One way to face this fear is to remember that the student sitting next to them
      probably feels the same; waiting for someone to kick-start a conversation. 


      Being homesick is very common among college students, but you can teach them
      ways to cope with this.


      Suggest they explore the campus.  This way, they will become familiar with
      the place and identify spots that interest them most.  Filling their dorm room
      with familiar items from home will also make them feel comfortable. They can
      hang pictures of their family members and friends to make their dorm cozy and
      relaxing. Homesickness is a phase that passes once they become more comfortable
      with the new environment and step out to meet new friends.


      Join intramural leagues at college


      Intramural sports offers students several advantages including:
                  a) meeting new people while doing what they enjoy,    
                  b) playing the sport they love,
                  c) diverting themselves from stress related to school or work,
                  d) building teamwork and sportsmanship, and
                 e) working out physically to improve overall health and fitness.

      Join campus clubs and organizations


      Undoubtedly, joining clubs and campus organizations are the best ways to meet
      people who have similar interests on campus. Finding groups with
      similar values is a challenge for freshmen because there are a myriad of them on
      college campuses.  It's important to visit groups of interest evaluating each
      based on criteria of importance.  Usually after 3 visits they will be able to
      determine if the group fits their values.


      ...But Don't Over Commit


      OK, we've discussed the best ways to get involved on campus, but an active
      social calendar should not out-weight consistent study patterns.   The main
      reason for attending college is to get an education. Students must prioritize
      and manage their activities accordingly drawing the line when socializing
      hinders academic progress.  This is where the mature and focused emerge and
      continue on to graduation.


      As counselors, suggest they choose two groups where they can commit and be
      active.  The commitment level will vary from student to student based on their
      class-load, work-load and other personal commitments.  They need to know where
      priority lies and allocate time based on priority.  The activity below will give
      students insight to how realistic their social schedule can be.




      College is an exciting season of social exploration.  It is important that
      students experience as much of the social scene as they can to learn more about
      themselves, create unique experiences and possibly build lifelong friendships. 
      Each student's social rhythm must factor priorities with academic excellence
      being at the top or near the top of the list.






      1.     Road To College Success Game         
      About 40 minutes of play needed
      visit  http://GAME.WINMDS.COM  for details


      1.     From the Life Choices card deck move questions related to Social Life
      (all questions labeled 2.x) to the top of the deck.


      2.     Play the game.





      1. Have students INDEPENDENTLY jot down their thoughts on following


      As a college freshman you are excited about meeting new friends and getting
      involved on campus.  Below is a list of organization types that might interest
      you.  Select two that you would consider joining.

      [ ] College Sports
              (ex/ Football team, Basketball team,
      Soccer Team, Cheerleader, etc.)

      [ ] College / Professional
              (ex/ Law Society, Chemical
      Society, Society of Engineers, Business Student Association, etc.)


      [ ] Fraternity/Sororities


      [ ] Religious Groups
              (Christians on Campus, Baptist Student
      Union, etc.)


      [ ] Ethnic / International
              (ex/ Asian Society, Black Student
      Union, German Club, Nigerian Society, etc.)


      [ ] Recreational / Intramural Sports
              (ex/ Ski Club, Chess Club,
      Tennis Club, Cycling, etc.)


      [ ] Political / Social Action
              (College Democrats, Habitat for
      Humanity, College Republicans, etc.)


      2.     Next, write the amount of time needed to commit to each organization
      you join.  In this example, to be an active participant in any group above, 4
      hours per week is required.   If you want to be involved in College Sports
      factor 12 hrs per week instead of 4.


      3.  Next, team students up in groups of 3.  Their job is to solve the
      scenario below as a team.


      Below is a table that defines the average hours for a typical student's


      24 hours x 7 days         =   168 total hours per week


      -       Sleep / dressing time       63 hrs    (8 hrs of sleep + 1 hr


      -       Class / Lab time              16 hrs    (full time schedule)


      -       Study hours/homework    30  hrs 


      -       Job hours                        20  hrs   (part-time job)


      -       Personal business             12  hrs   (shopping, eating, cleaning,


      -       Casual socializing             12  hrs   (hanging with friends,
                         dating, phone,  texting, facebooking)


      -       Travel to class & work        5  hrs 


      -       Group 1                           4  hrs


      -       Group 2                          4  hrs  


      = 2 hour left in the week


      This student has been asked to join the college's football team. (time
      commitment is 12 hours/week).
         He is an active member of two campus
      organizations.  He likes both groups and wants to join the football team as
      well.  How can he adjust this schedule to join the team? 


      Have teams come up with two possible solutions.

      You can obtain the full 7-lesson packet at http://www.winmds.com/
      (enter email on home page popup OR use the "send us a note" section on the
      contact page)