What Parents Need to Know About Sending Their Kids to College
To the Editor:
Re “Cutting the Cord: What Parents and Teenagers Need to Know” (news article, Aug. 23):
Judith Newman’s obsessive advocating for “adulting” books in her article was sending the wrong message to new college parents across America. While it is agreeable to get a better understanding of how to send your incoming college student off prepared, Newman shoved down the reader’s throats a multitude of “adulting” novels. In the end, these idealistic books will not improve the readiness of a new college student.
As a freshman college student myself, I have been thrown into the unknown pool, but it is experience that is what teaches us how to swim. I can personally say that if my parents used parenting advice from a book, it would be too forced or experimental and I would not feel prepared at all. Parenting in this specific situation should be setting guidelines to be careful with certain aspects of college, but the rest should be learned by physically doing. As usual, the internet and popular parenting trends take over and create a false narrative that a book can give all of the answers. This is simply not true as my parents and grandparents were not granted this form of parenting when venturing off to the real world, and they figured it all out by being on their own.
Most parents are scared of sending their children to college because they are force fed negative statistics by the media. The article states that 30% of college students dropout within their first year, but what it does not mention is that according to most recent college stats, most schools enjoy a 81-96% retention rate, depending on the school. Where a select amount of schools may have a 30% dropout rate, most of those students transfer to a better fitting school. They do not simply dropout. If parents keep falling for the negative statistics and following advice from a book, their children are going to continue to be less prepared. Most life lessons come out of experience and if students are too afraid to go out and try life skills for themselves, those skills will never develop.
We, as college students must explain how we would like to be taught valuable life lessons. Parents owe it to their children to give them truthful and natural advice and allow them to experience the world. They will begin to understand the correct concepts and quit focusing in on the negative statistics. It is our job to spread the positive and look into the negative stats a little deeper because there may be more than meets the eye.