Helping your child transition from one phase to the next is never easy. You probably remember the first day of kindergarten, the first day of middle school, or the day they got their driver’s license. Chances are, at each phase, you found yourself the same, very important, question:
Do they have everything they need?
In elementary school, the answer to that question came in the form of school supply lists and lunch money forms. Maybe during the high school years, that question looked like putting an emergency kit in their car with a list of emergency numbers. And, after all those years of making sure the have what they need, this stage may feel eerily similar. Besides, there are a LOT of things they may need to start college:
• Financial aid forms
• Registering for classes
• Dining hall plans
• Dorm décor
• A new (and better) computer
The list goes on and on. But from years (okay, decades) of walking with teenagers and their parents through the transition from high school to college, I’ve found one of the most important things a teenager needs when starting college rarely makes the list but it often makes all the difference.
They Need . . . a Team
Over and over, research confirms that the chances of success in college, and in life, rises when we have mentors, advisors, and people to guide us along the journey. This is especially true in the first few months of college where life can be tricky and the right decision isn’t always clear.
In this first semester, there will be times your brand new young adult may feel hesitant to ask you for advice because it feels like they should have it all figured out by now. So having a team of other adults who can mentor, advise, or encourage your new college student can be a game changer.
The Team They Need
That’s why we think every student starting college needs a team of five adult advisors who will help them navigate their first semester in college.
And we know that asking or even finding five adults may seem challenging for a young person. So we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them by creating a website that helps your college student make the ask and helps their adult mentors remember to follow up regularly.
Building Their Team
To sign up, simply have your student go to OnMyTeam.org and click “I’m a college student.” There, they’ll be walked through the process of deciding who makes a good mentor, and they’ll be given the exact words to copy, paste, and send to an adult asking them to become a team member for the next semester.
Eventually, your son or daughter will find people in their new stage of life, their new school, or maybe even a new town to act as mentors in their life. But those relationships don’t happen automatically. So between now and then, it’s our hope that OnMyTeam.orghelps bridge the gap with adults they already know and trust who can cheer for them and guide them toward what’s next.