Vol. 11, No. 4 May 2011
WELL, WE MADE IT!
Four years of high school. The SAT’s. AP exams. Regents. With more than 3,000
colleges in the United States alone, how did we ever begin our search? Safe schools,
reach schools, essays to write. Do you remember, “If you could change any event in the
course of history, what would you change and why”? Deadlines to meet, recommendation
letters to get. Anticipating the mail every day – “Is it a fat envelope”? Looking back, it
was not that bad after all. We congratulate you on surviving the process and on the
selection you have made for next year. As always, there will be more obstacles in your
path and anxious moments to face, but, we are confident that you are prepared to deal
By now, you should have accepted admission to a college and sent in your deposit. You
should have informed the colleges that you will not be attending so that spots could be
opened up for other candidates. If you have deposited in more than one institution, a
decision must be made sooner rather than later to allow those waitlisted an opportunity
to get accepted.
A WORD ABOUT TAXES
Scholarship funds used for tuition and course required fees, tuition, books and
equipment are tax exempt. Amounts covering room and board may be subject to
taxation. Check with your accountant.
Colleges may grant credit for AP exams in one of three ways:
1. grant the credits and waive the requirement
2. waive the requirement but expect you to earn the credits through an elective of
3. waive a basic course and permit you to enroll in a more advanced course
You must often negotiate one of the above options yourself since the colleges may not
offer any benefits to you. Speak to your advisor at your college about your options.
You should have already filed for eligibility to compete at a Division I or Division II
school. If you are planning to compete, see your counselor.
TIPS ON HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR FRESHMAN YEAR AT COLLEGE
Now that you have decided where you are going to spend the next four years, let us talk
about how you are going to do it! Many of you are anxious about leaving home, making
new friends, sharing your room and becoming acclimated to a new way of learning.
SHOPPING FOR COLLEGE THIS FALL
Since things usually cost more at college and you will not have a car to get around, we
have compiled a list of things that you should take with you to college this fall. Use this
list as a guide. Enjoy shopping!
For the Room
plastic hangers – especially multiple tiers for pants and shirts--closet space is at a
alarm clock, clock radio, stereo, tape deck, tapes, CD’s, walkman, television
two sets of extra long sheets, comforter to match and extra long mattress pad
pillow, two blankets
throw rug--dorm floors are usually very cold
laundry basket, laundry bag, detergent, fabric softener, drying rack, iron and lots of
quarters for machines
extension cords--3-way plugs--surge protector
desk lamp, light bulbs (there is very poor lighting in dorm rooms) and bed lamp (clip-
on-light)--some schools will not allow halogen
posters and pictures for the wall and picture frames
waste paper basket
under bed storage boxes
microwave (if permissible)
flashlight and batteries
travel bag/duffel bag
pole lamp/light bulbs
pens, pencils, highlighters, sharpener, erasers, scotch tape and masking tape,
scissors, paper clips, stapler, typing and notebook paper, white out, push pins or
thumb tacks for your bulletin board, large academic calendar to write down
important information (e.g. when papers are due, exams, parties, etc.), calculator,
dictionary and thesaurus
laptop, computer, printer
stationery, envelopes, stamps and address book
message board to place on door
First Aid Kit
aspirins, cold remedies, any medication you take, bandages, eye glasses, contact lens
needles, thread, scissors, pins, buttons, safety pins
Bathroom and Personal Essentials
hair dryer, curling iron, combs, brushes
economy size shampoo and conditioner
shower caddy (with holes) to hold: toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, soap, soap
dish, plastic cup
deodorant, razor, shaving kit, cosmetics, Q-tips, cotton balls, cologne or perfume,
hair spray and mousse, hand cream or body lotion, tweezers, dental floss, shower cap
and rubber slippers for the shower
towels--bath size and washcloths
stuffed animals for the homey touch
plastic dishes, silverware, mugs, paper towels, dish detergents
some snack food to nibble on when you are studying (popcorn is least fattening)
camera and film
photo album--to show off family and friends from home
extra long phone cord (so you can talk when your roommate is sleeping), telephone
and answering machine (if voice mail is not available)
raincoat, umbrella--it rains a lot at college
NOW THAT YOU HAVE GOT IT ALL, WHAT DO YOU PACK IT IN?
crates--you can easily pack all of the above in color coordinated crates which you
can use as storage for books and clothing
trunk-–which can be your coffee table and used to store things you do not need
many parents have shared a bit of advice--pack in garbage bags--they fit more
efficiently in trunks of cars and there really is no room to store suitcases in college
REMEMBER – It may sound like a lot, but, by packing everything in crates, laundry baskets
and duffel bags, you will find YOU CAN DO IT! Call your roommate. Try to coordinate
what you need to bring.
ALL YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW YOU LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN
One way to deal with this new environment is simply by remembering your early years.
Most of what you really need to know about how to live, what to do and how to act you
learned in kindergarten. Wisdom is not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but,
there in the sand pile in the playground. These are the things you learned:
do not hit people
put things back where you found them
clean up your own mess
do not take things that are not yours
say you are sorry when you hurt somebody
wash your hands before you eat
warm cookies and cold milk are good for you
live a balanced life-–learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and
dance and play and work everyday some
take a nap in the afternoon
when you go out into the world--watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together
be aware of wonder
All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten, 1990
Now that we have learned how to survive the social aspect of freshmen year in college, let
us talk about academics. You are used to class sizes of 25 students at Roslyn High School.
Now you have to figure out how to learn in lecture halls of 300 or more. You are used to
having Mom & Dad tell you when to study, when to eat and when to go out. At college, you
have to handle your newfound freedom responsibly. Here are some tips to go by:
Always sit in the front of the classroom or lecture hall. It is proven that students who
sit in the front do better in class.
Establish a regular time to study for each class. Generally, for every hour you spend in
class, you are expected to spend two hours outside of class studying, doing homework
and reading the text. Prepare for every class as if there will be a quiz.
Establish a place to study. Whether it is the library or a quiet student lounge area, this
should be a place where you do not do anything other than study.
Find at least one or two students in each class with whom you can study . Studies show
that students who study with someone routinely earn better grades.
Study the most challenging subject first. Working on more difficult subjects when you
are tired compounds the problem.
Be good to yourself. Eat healthy and get plenty of sleep. Do not let go of all those good
habits your parents instilled in you.
SPEAKING OF PARENTS…
This is a time full of questions and anxiety for you too. Your child is about to leave the nest
for the first time. How do you let go graciously?
Do Not Ask Them If They Are Homesick
The power of association can be a dangerous thing. Freshmen are so busy with meeting
the challenges of a new environment. They often do not realize they are homesick.
Even if they do not tell you during those first few weeks, they do miss you.
Expect Change (but not too much)
Change is natural and can be inspiring and beautiful. College experiences can affect
changes in social, emotional, vocational and personal behavior and choices. Even though
you may not understand it, it is within your power to accept it and let your child go on
Do Not Worry (too much) About Homesick Phone Calls or E-mails
Often when troubles become too much for a freshman to handle (a failed test, an ended
relationship and a shrunken T-shirt all in one day), the only place to turn is home.
Unfortunately, you do not always get to hear about the A’s or the comforting
friendships. Be sympathetic during this time of need. They look to you because they
trust you and know you will not let them down.
Visit (but not too often)
Visits by parents are another part of the first year events, even though freshmen are
reluctant to admit it. Pretended disdain of these visits is just another part of the
freshman year syndrome. Your children actually enjoy these visits because it gives
them a chance to introduce the important people in their lives to each other. Surprise
visits are, however, discouraged. This could disrupt planned activities and could have
unpleasant results. Announce your visits and give yourself a chance to see a clean room.
Trust Your Children
College is a time when your children are trying to figure out who they are. They
explore, try new behaviors and try to figure out what makes them the happiest. Finding
oneself is a difficult enough process without feeling that the people whose opinions you
respect the most are second guessing your own second guessing. Love your children and
trust that they are making the right choices for themselves. They know what will make
TIPS FOR PARENTS ON LETTING GO AND THE FRESHMAN TRANSITION
Communication: Keeping in Touch
Send tangible items. E-mail is great for ongoing informal contact, but, students still love
the old-fashioned letter that they can touch, feel and reread. Cards, care packages,
newspaper clippings . . . all these tangibles are always appreciated.
Try to learn their new friends’ names. Write them down on a pad near the phone so that you
can refer to them when you are talking. It helps to feel connected to their lives as time
When Students Come Back Home
Understand that the college years are a time for exploration. Your student may come home
with a “new look”, someone else’s clothes, new politics, philosophies or eating habits. Most
of these changes are not permanent. Take a step back, have a sense of humor and pick your
Notify students of home renovations. If you plan to make changes at home, especially major
changes that will affect them, be sure to inform or include your student in the plans.
Students do not like to come home and find their place at the table usurped. They certainly
do not want to find that their room has been turned into an exercise room.
Further information on “Tips on Letting Go” can be found in the following:
Letting Go – A Parents’ Guide to Today’s College Experience, Karen Levin Coburn and Madge
Letting Go – A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years, Karen Levin Coburn and
Madge Lawrence Treeger
Doors Open from Both Sides – The Off-to-College Guide from Two Points of View: Parents
and Students, Margo E. Bane, MSW, and Steffany Bane
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?
How many times have you heard this question in the past year? Now that you have
decided on a college, it is a good time to begin exploring your career options. It is not
unusual for entering freshmen to have undeclared majors, but, it is never too early to
think about your future. Most educators will tell you that having an idea or knowing
what you want to be professionally will allow you to focus and consequently get better
grades, excel in internships and join the right clubs. Ask yourself two questions:
1. What am I good at?
2. What do I enjoy doing?
There is surely a career or profession waiting for you that you will enjoy. You will look
forward to going to work every day and receive job satisfaction from it.
What are the hot jobs today? Despite the current economy, computer jobs are the
fastest growing careers today followed by health care jobs. Growing careers mean more
opportunities to get a job, work where you want and find a company or organization that
is right for you. However, choosing a career simply because the statistics are in favor
of it will most likely end in job dissatisfaction for you. When choosing a major or
career, consider the current labor market trends. Will there be a need for that
profession in four years? Technology is changing the way our world functions and jobs
are being created and eliminated faster than ever.
Twenty-four thousand dollars was the average debt of college students who took out
loans and graduated last year, according to Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid and
Fastweb, who has compiled the estimates of student debt. Two-thirds of bachelor’s
degree recipients graduated with debt in 2008, compared with less than half in 1993.
Overall, student loan debt outpaced credit card debt for the first time last year and is
likely to top a trillion dollars this year as more students go to college and more borrow
money to do so. “In the coming years, a lot of people will still be paying off their
student loans when it’s time for their kids to go to college,” Mr. Kantrowitz said.*
The Counseling Center would like to wish you luck in all of your future endeavors. We
hope that all of your dreams will come true. Be sure to come back and visit on your
breaks. We love to see how our former students are faring in their new environments.
The Counseling Center:
Tanya Baptiste, Elizabeth Brown, Bill Caruso, Jason Geller, Gail Kennedy, Melissa
Lazzaro, Cherie Totillo, Dorothy McHugh, Marg Bifone, Marybeth Burns, Sophie Duval,
Linda Granger and Art Mandel.
*The New York Times