Junior-year is an exciting time for students as they begin to explore the facets of their chosen program. There are many questions in the air at this point but your student is growing and maturing with a keen sense of self and individualism. Much like the moment when students realize parents are people, parents have a similar reaction to their student during this time that their children are now young adults on the brink of making their fierce debut into the work-force. While this is an exciting time and parents often find themselves breathing a bit easier during Junior year, students may have their own set of mixed emotions and challenges to break through.
Recognizing the Real-world
Let’s be honest, we all know the real-world isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; but students are eager to get there and the Junior year is the first true sneak peek students get of what it could look like for them. Many are working in the field completing internships and co-ops and trying to way through the multiplicity of options for any given program. Be a support system for your student through this journey. Some students will find after working in the field a bit, that perhaps they would prefer a different direction; this is okay. Help your student most by listening and encouraging them to continue to work hard and reassure them there plenty of services and resources that will ensure they find their niche; and thankfully they still have a year before they have to make any firm decisions.
Be a Proactive Parent
Parents know their students best and are encouraged to do some homework of their own and make a list of resources that will best help their student. NC State offers an extensive list of resources that can help prepare students for both short and long-term career commitments. One such example is the Career Development Center (CDC). Parents are encouraged to visit the Career Development Center to understand what resources will be best for your student. By doing this parents have the information to offer to students as they need it.
At this point, your student may have completed their transition and may seemingly be doing very well but there are others that will need additional support and may still seem to be struggling a bit; regardless, all students need support at all levels. Parents who stay engaged and communicate with both the University and their student, continue to remain connected and a positive support leading your individual student on the path success.