Digital Dependency

It’s been a while since I have written an article for my blog.  I’ve been telling myself to write something since March! Talk about procrastination!  Here it is May, and I am finally getting my act together.  Typically, I like to have something inspirational to get me going on a topic.  Every time I think I have an idea, I talk myself out of it. Instead, I keep coming back to the concept of digital dependency. I believe the universe presents us with opportunities or speaks to us in various ways. Often we chose to ignore our inner voice. I have decided perhaps to get over this little writing block; I need to address the topic I keep stifling, digital dependency.

A few weeks ago our counseling center co-sponsored an event on campus called, Digital Detox Day. It was an opportunity for students to recognize the signs of a digital addiction and take some time to detox.  I did not participate in the event or even stop by, but the program advertisement made me think about my relationship to the digital world.

For several years, I have owned a smartphone and an iPad simultaneously.  I still seemed to read at a regular rate of multiple books a year.  In the last two years, it has been hard for me to even get through three books in a year. “All the Light We Cannot See” has been sitting in my office to read during lunch for the entire academic year.  I am still only partially through it.  Previously, I would have a book by my bed at night, and I would read a little before falling asleep. Sometimes I would get so involved, read more than I should, and pay for it the next day.  I haven’t been doing that either.   So what changed in the last two or three years? Digital dependency is the answer. For me, this ranges from checking social media with my readily available iPad or iPhone, aimlessly surfing the web or YouTube, to binge watching shows with my husband in the evening.  Before I used to be able to discuss books and offer suggestions for a good summer read, now I can only offer Premium Channel, Netflix, and Amazon suggestions. That’s not entirely a bad thing, but I miss my books.

Digital dependency, is it a thing? About five years ago, a visibly fidgety student was in my office. When I asked him if everything was okay, he responded that he had cut himself off from his cell phone for a while, and was only on day two. He told me that although his phone was in a drawer in his room, he had the sensation of his cell phone vibrating in his pocket.  He was experiencing a “phantom limb” phenomenon similar to amputation patients. I will admit, at the time, I thought he was overly dramatic.  I couldn’t imagine how someone could become so connected to an inanimate object that they would feel that type of sensation, anxiety, or loss. Today, I would not be so quick to judge.  I have learned and have seen firsthand, that digital dependency is alive and well.

Even this week I read an interesting article regarding digital addiction in younger kids, “Its ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies.” So, with all these things going through my mind, I created an unscientific list of warning signs for digital dependency:Digital Dependency

  1. Feeling or fear of missing out. Are you restless if you leave your phone at home or the battery has run out?
  2. Concealing your cell phone usage. Do you sneak off to get a look at what’s happening on social media?
  3. Eye, neck, and shoulder pain from straining to look at a screen while always looking down.
  4. Do you have trouble completing tasks at home or work due to more time spent on your phone?
  5. Isolation and loneliness. Do you spend less time with family and friends or find yourself distracted in conversations because you are checking your phone at the same time.

As I look at my list, I do recognize a few warning signs for myself.  Occasionally, I do feel stiffness or tired after prolonged periods of looking at my phone. Obviously, number four hits home as I have missed out on something I enjoy – reading. And, I have to admit shamefully, that I am guilty of number five too.  It reminds me of a night when I took my daughter to a Taylor Swift concert.  I hadn’t been to a concert in ages, and this was her first.  Consumed with the idea of posting it all on social media and taking pictures, I justified these actions by telling myself I was “preserving the memory.”  In the end, the photos and videos were crap. I deleted most of them. Instead, I should have just “been in the moment.”

Enough is enough.  Who wants to experience a “phantom limb” sensation over a silly phone?  Life is right in front of us. I have two wonderful summer vacations planned. I want to preserve these trips in photos and at the same time, remember the moments.  During our trips, I don’t want to be caught up in what I could be missing at home nor do I need to post everything we are doing.  It can wait. If I must post our vacations, which I will want to do too, I can set real-time posting limitations and commit to post-vacation postings.  Additionally, I am challenging myself to finish that book in my office along with one possible two others before summer is over. I am going to put down the phone, stop the binge watching long enough to enjoy a past-time I used to love.  What can you do to detox digitally? I would love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and challenges. Oh, and I could use some summer reading suggestions.

 

http://nypost.com/2016/08/27/its-digital-heroin-how-screens-turn-kids-into-psychotic-junkies/

 

Know Your Numbers

Have you ever watched Shark Tank? Honestly, it’s not a show I watch, but I’ve seen it enough to know that the Sharks are always asking about numbers.  You may even hear one say in reprimand, “You must know your numbers.” Countless pitches fall apart because contestants don’t know about revenues, expenses, profits, manufacturing costs, and projections. Mostly, they need to know the budget.

The concept of budgeting has been floating around in my head for a couple of weeks. I started to realize that a lot of success hinges on the idea of a real sound budget. Obviously, the first example could be a failed business. On a smaller scale maybe you plan on buying the next iPhone, but if you don’t know the numbers in your bank account. You don’t know the cost of the phone or other factors involved with your current contract agreement.  If this were the case, it’s possible you may get in over your head.

Another budgeting example that I am all too familiar with is budgeting food for weight loss. The concept is based on a budget whether it’s points or calories; either you have 24 points to eat in a day or a 1500 calorie allotment for the day.  You could also plan to eat a certain amount of grams of protein, fruits/vegetables, and fats in a day.  Any way you look at it, it’s a budget.

Now, let me give you one more example that might help you in school. Budgeting your time, commonly referred to as time management.  Each semester some students don’t do as well as they could simply because they have poor time management skills.  They fail to budget their time wisely.

It’s still early enough in the semester to take a good look at your plan for managing time this spring. I’m going to help you take a closer look at how you spend your day.

If I asked you, “What is the importance of the number 168?” What would your answer be? (In a classroom, I would count to ten – in my head – before I called on someone.)  Ok, so do you know the answer?  Well, 168 is the number of hours in a week.  Did you get it right?  It’s ok if you didn’t.  That’s what I’m here to talk to you about.

Let’s for a minute think about all the possible things you do in the course of a week. You eat, sleep, work, study, go to class, exercise and hang out with friends.  If you commute to school or work, you can factor time in the car too.  Your calendar is full.

I used to teach a workshop to probationary college students. Students who had one semester to pull up their grades to a particular point or be dismissed from school.  I often found their reason for failure was not ineptitude, but a lack of planning.   I would tell them the recommendation for college students is 2-3 hours of study for every 1 hour in class.  To put this in relative terms if you have three credits (hours) for a class, you should study 6-9 hours.  If you have 15 credits, then you should be studying 30-45 hours a week. At that, their eyes would pop out of their head. Some would even laugh at me. I think I can even see your eyes bulging too.  Full-time college enrollment is like having a full-time job.  As a matter of fact, you should take it as seriously as you would a full-time job.

Now that we have that disparaging fact out of the way let’s look at the possibilities for you. I’m going to ask you to think about your calendar, the hours in a day/week, and give you a tool to budget your time.  The link below is a tool from Ohio University that I found to be the best online worksheet to examine “unaccounted for” hours in your week.  These are hours that could be re-assigned to studying.  I think you may be surprised at how much time you have!

Before you begin, here are some instructions:

In the first section on Academics – be honest about the amount of time you intend on studying – per week – for each class. I’m not looking over your shoulder. You don’t need to falsify your answers.  If you will only study 1 hour for a class, write that down. Be honest.

In the second section, on Fixed Activities – remember these are hours per week. You will need to multiply by 7 in most cases.  An example of the “other” category could be exercise or working out.

https://webapps.ohio.edu/studytips/Time_168hours.html

I would love to hear how much flexible time you have left. Generally, I hear 20-40 hours.  Surprising, right?  And this activity factors in sleep!  Think about how you are spending that extra time.  The answer to that is often hanging with friends, games, social media, etc. These are all areas that you can commit to re-budget toward your academics.

Now you know your numbers. You have the necessary tool for successful time management.  If you would like more tips on budgeting time for a successful semester or have some tools of your own, I’d love to hear from you.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” – Ben Franklin

 

Successful Summers

Many college students around the nation are packing up and heading home for the summer months.  For high school students, summer isn’t that far off either.  Here is some of my best advice for both groups during the summer months.

Tips for Successful Summer

HIGH SCHOOL JUNIORS:

Are you finishing your junior year in high school and considering college for your future?  If so, you may want to use the summer to:

  1. Write your Personal Statement
  2. Visit a few colleges
  3. Work a summer job (save money)

HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS:

If you are a high school senior, and you have been accepted to a school PLEASE DO NOT BLOW IT by getting arrested this summer.

This is a PSA for all parents AND high school graduates:

Did you know that having TOO MUCH “fun” the summer before college (and through college) can ruin a career before it even starts? A DUI or underage citation can prevent you from entering a major at school (or get you kicked out of a major). For example: In the state of PA, Education majors caught drinking underage are not able to student teach for 5 YEARS past the offense. This is about teaching clearances, which can also be required for upper division courses; therefore the student won’t even be able to take certain classes! Education is not the only major! Criminal Justice is another. It’s not the 80’s anymore. A citation could ruin your academic opportunities and career before it even gets started! Make good choices, enjoy time with your high school friends, and work a summer job.

Here are some summer suggestions for ANY STUDENT ATTENDING COLLEGE IN THE FALL:

  1. Hang out with your friends from home in smart ways. Your time is limited together. Quality time, not jail time, is key.
  2. Find a summer job, and save your money. If you can find a job that is somewhat related to your major or career choice – even better. The sooner you start thinking about your resume, the better.
  3. Take a road trip. Find a couple of friends, and map out a road trip.  Decide on a budget and keep your cost down. Ultimately, you should be saving money this summer. (Check out shoestring road trip suggestions on Pinterest and in the bookstores.)
  4. Savor all home-cooked meals. Show your gratitude by helping to clean up after a meal. This is a great time to catch some quality time with the chef of the house.
  5. Read a non-textbook book. I remember my days in college as reading A LOT, but nothing for pure enjoyment. In the summer time, you can read for pleasure.
  6. Take a summer course. Ok, so this may interfere with #5, but here’s the time to re-take a course that you didn’t do well in or just get ahead by a class or two.  (WARNING: Check with academic policies on whether you can repeat courses at another institution!)
  7. Take some time to relax and slack off a little, but not too much.

I’m Going to Tell You what is Important

So many times people say to me, “It must be so much fun to work on a college campus.”  And without hesitation, I agree.  It truly is a wonderful place.  Youth, energy, and enthusiasm are everywhere.  Positive energy is not evident on just my campus. I have found this to be true at all the various schools I have worked throughout my career.  In previous posts, I have even mentioned the energy that is almost physical when students return in September.  The vibrancy is evident around every corner – except when something bad happens.

I have been debating whether to write this post. I think of myself as a positive, “the cup is half full” kind of gal. But lately, I have had something sad on my mind. Perhaps writing it down will help me put some closure on a few things.

WARNING: This post is on the heavy side. Feel free to bail now.

In the past three years, I had been aware of the passing of four students, two of whom I knew – one of whom was in my office the day before he died. Just two weeks ago, our campus lost a young student at the age of 18.  I didn’t know her, but her passing brought up all these feelings, particularly regarding the young men I knew.

You see, I sit with students day in and day out.  I talk to them about their dreams for the future.  When you are between the age of 18 and 21, life is full of promise. That’s not to say that students don’t struggle – believe me they do, but the expectation is that they will make it.  The expectation is that life will be long and today’s struggle will only be a blip on their lifeline.

The two men I knew had struggles. The one student told me that he and his older sister, and only family (whom he lived with), had a fight, and he didn’t know where he was going to live over summer break.  Naively, I figured it would work itself out.  It didn’t, and he was gone the next day – not just for the summer – but gone for good.  I was devastated.  The second student was a ray of sunshine. His smile would light any room. He struggled a bit with a math course or two, but not so much that it would cause greater concern.  His academic record showed some semester breaks.  I assumed he was just trying to re-focus for a stronger semester.  Later, I learned he had bigger demons. This past December, purely by happenstance, I saw a posting of his passing through friends of friends on Facebook.  Again, I was crushed.  How do two seemingly healthy 20 year-olds die?  I can take an educated guess to answer that question regarding both boys, and I think I would be right.  However, that is no longer important.

The other two students I didn’t know, but their passing is nonetheless heartbreaking.  When you work with people entering the prime of their life, mortality isn’t something you think about.  To hear of an unexpected death of a college student, to me, seems all the more tragic and contradictory.  When you look at the national statistics for death, unrelated to physical illness, of people in this age range, it’s pretty high.  I often say to some of my friends, “We can relax (a bit) when our kids reach 26/27.”  Some of the leading causes of death seem to drop around that age.  My non-expert opinion is that the pre-frontal cortex or the “executive suite” of the brain is not fully formed until the mid-20’s. This area of the brain controls problem-solving, prioritizing, risk vs. reward, thinking ahead, long-term planning, and regulation of emotions.  Could these things be tied together? I don’t know. I am just me trying to make sense of some very crazy stuff.  However, regarding these four students, and others like them, the reason is no longer important.

For those of you still young and able to read this, I will tell you what is important.  The answer is YOU!!!  YOU ARE WONDERFUL (even if imperfect), and YOU ARE (what is) IMPORTANT!  Not for one second, not even for the little blip, should you ever think otherwise.  YOU MATTER!!!

 

To S and J, I hope you know that you are still important. Love, Mrs. D.

051

 

 

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1 800-273-8255 www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

www.NA.org

DrugAbuse.com 1-877-759-5122

Have You Heard About the New SAT?

It’s getting good reviews.  On March 5, 2016, the College Board released a new version of the SAT. Here are some of the changes that are getting an A+:

  • Obscure vocabulary words are being traded in for more real-world analysis of more widely known words.  Students must demonstrate meaning through content.
  • Students are no longer penalized for guessing.
  • Students have reported it to be more straightforward and less tricky.
  • Math is more algebra and problem solving, but the use of a calculator is limited to certain questions.
  • There is less memorizing of math formulas.  A student needs to understand basic algebra and have the ability to work through a problem to be successful.
  • There are fewer questions: 154 with an essay vs. 171.
  • Students have a choice to write the essay.
  • A perfect score is 1600 with a separate score for the essay.

 

The College Board restricted the new SAT initial use.  Only those applying for college, scholarships, financial aid and other programs requiring the test score could take it in March.  People who didn’t fall into these groups can reschedule to take the test in May.

Keep in mind, the test continues to assess reading, writing and mathematics.  However, with fewer overall questions, there is more time for students to focus on an individual question in one of these areas.

The next administration of the new SAT will be on May 7th.  The registration deadline is April 8th.  If this date doesn’t work for you, you can find out other SAT dates through the College Board website.

Do you need practice?  There’s an app for that!  Get a question a day to keep on top of your skills.  And it’s free!  The College Board also has other tools and resources for doing the best you can.  Visit their website to “Meet the New SAT!”

For the class of 2017 or younger, who would like a more in-depth, but brief, review of the newest version of the SAT, visit The Princeton Review.

If you took the March debut version, and would like to give your feedback, feel free to comment. I’d love to hear about your experience.

What Season Is It?

You may think the answer is obvious, especially if you live in the Northeast or anywhere there has been some recent snow.  I look out my window and see the results of two snowstorms. One that was fairly significant and one that just made everything look pretty for 24 hours. But the real answer to that question is….it’s FAFSA Season!

Any student wishing to be reviewed for Financial Aid (both state and federal) for the 2016-2017 school year, can file now. For many schools, this deadline is March 1st.

High School Students:  Don’t wait to be accepted to college.  You can and should fill out the form now, whether or not you have heard from any of your selected schools.

Current College Students:  You should fill out the form for next year if you need financial aid or if you are considering a work-study position on-campus.  Many college positions will require this form be submitted regardless of financial aid eligibility.

Parents: FAFSA is making things easier on you.  Parents of high school juniors, the FAFSA form will be available three months sooner next year. You will be able to fill out the form as early as October 1, 2016.  AND, you will no longer have to rush to finish your current taxes for the FAFSA form.  You will be able to complete the form using two-year-old tax returns.  That is good news!

I know many of you may be thinking, “Great, Diane, snow and FAFSA: what a great combination.” Well, I apologize for that.   So, I will encourage you to look more closely. If you do, you will see signs of new life and spring.  Even under the snow, I have seen the aconites popping up.  I have heard a few song birds making their presence known.  New beginnings are soon upon us, and not just outdoors, but with our students too.  Many of my family and friends have made exciting announcements of incoming acceptance letters from colleges around the country.  High school students everywhere are beginning to receive notice of the new life in store for them.  Congratulations to those of you who have been accepted to college for next year.  Please feel free to comment on the school you will be attending in the fall.  I would love to hear from you.

Look closely for signs of Spring.
Look closely for signs of a new season.

Financial Aid and Some Upcoming Changes

Attending college today is an enormous expense that many families plan for well in advance. Even with the best savings plan in place, you still may fall short of the required amount. Federal Student Aid can help students with the cost of higher education.
I am not an expert in the field of financial aid, yet I recognize that funding an education can be a source of much anxiety and confusion. I will do my best to impart some basic knowledge concerning the Federal Student Aid programs that are available. Hopefully, this will be a quick overview to eliminate some of that anxiety and confusion.
The information below was gathered from the Federal Student Aid website. I highly encourage you to spend some time looking at the site if you have financial aid questions.
The office of Federal Student Aid offers more than $150 billion annually for colleges and career schools in the form of grants, loans, and work-study funding. That’s a lot of money that is available to students across the country seeking a higher education! This money can be used for tuition, room and board, and books. To be awarded any money, you must begin by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly referred to as the FAFSA.

 

When applying, keep in mind there are FAFSA deadlines. There are federal and state deadlines, as well as deadlines imposed by your colleges. Remember, the financial aid process is separate from the school application process. If you would like to receive federal aid, you will have to fill out both the school application and the FAFSA. If you are eligible for financial aid, you will receive an award letter (from the accepting college) explaining federal and non-federal options that the school is offering.

 

There are three types of financial aid: grants, student loans, and work-study. Below is a brief overview:

I.   Grants – Money awarded to students that does not need to be repaid.

II.   Loans – Money that is being borrowed for school and does need to be repaid.

A. Federal Loan

  • Offered at low fixed interest rates
  • Repayment plans may be deferred or adjusted based on income.
  • Loans may be consolidated to only monthly bill
  • Student loan interest may be deducted on taxes
  • Some federal loans may even be forgiven based on your career or employment.

B. Non-Federal Loan

  • Money borrowed from a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency or school.
  • This money must be paid back, often at various interest rates.

*If you plan on borrowing money for education, the federal loan should be used first.

III.   Student Work-Study – Part-time, on-campus employment earning at least minimum wage.

I find knowing the three types of financial aid is a good basis for understanding. You can read more in-depth information from the Federal Student Aid webpage. For more detailed information on Private and federal loans, I recommend the chart provided on their webpage. Also, each university and college has financial aid officers and should have information on their university webpage. Both are a resource for you.

New changes: For the 2017-2018 academic year, the FAFSA will become available October 1, 2016 – rather than in January 1, 2017. Families will have more time to prepare their financial information. In addition, parents will be asked to report income from two years prior. For example, students using the FAFSA for the academic year of 2017-2018 will need to retrieve tax information from 2015, and can file as early as October 1, 2016. This change will help better align FAFSA with many admissions application deadlines.
For more information on FAFSA, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.

PSATs and SATs – Some General Information

Fall is the time of year that many juniors will take the PSAT and seniors may attempt the SAT again for a higher score.

This year, some changes are occurring for BOTH tests. Coming up on October 14th and October 28th, students will be taking the redesigned PSAT/NMSQT for the first time. It’s the best way to practice for the SAT. It is also an opportunity to connect with scholarship opportunities. The newly designed SAT will be launched on March 5th. If you are taking the SAT this fall, it will with the current test.

Let me make that more clear:

  • Seniors: Taking the SAT before March 2016 will take the current SAT.
  • Juniors and sophomores: Taking the SAT in March 2016 or later will take the new SAT.

I highly recommend visiting the College Board website for more information regarding these changes. Their website has tons of information regarding both tests, upcoming changes, registration deadlines, practice tests, a college search engine, and much more.

Practice makes perfect, right? The College Board website also offers free practice for the PSAT and SAT tests. Anyone can take advantage of these practice tests if they have a pencil, printer, calculator, and a timer. After completing the test, you can score it on your own to find out how you did. Also, explanations for answers are provided so that you can learn from your mistakes.

Lastly, did you know that there is an app for the SAT? You can now download the SAT Question of the Day to your smartphone for free daily practice. How cool is that? Ok, maybe not as fun as Snapchat, but certainly a good way to prepare a little at a time.

Do you need to score better than the student taking the test next to you? My answer is no. You just need to do the best that you can possibly do. Practice, practice, practice is the best way to prepare for your best score possible. Your highest scores on the SATs in combination with a strong high school GPA, is the best avenue to college acceptance.

“Good Luck!”

 

College Board. https://www.collegeboard.org/, (10/4/15).

It Takes Courage to be Happy

My young neighbor. Studying what makes her happy at Montclair State University.
My young neighbor. Studying what makes her happy at Montclair State University.

If you were paying any attention to the news last week, you might have noticed that Pope Francis came for a little visit. It was difficult to escape the excitement (and trepidation) surrounding the Pope’s arrival. However, now in the aftermath, I believe the general thought is that it went very well.
I noticed throughout the week that quotes and themes from his speeches would come up on social media. In February of this year, Pope Francis spoke on World Youth Day. He was quoted as saying, “Have the courage to be happy.” I love this quote, and he brought it out again over this past weekend in Philadelphia.
It does take courage to be happy. If you are in a situation that you don’t like, it may take some effort to make a change. The process of change may require some courage. I think this rings true for all people regardless of our age. However, since Pope Francis originally directed this to our youth, so will I.
As a junior or senior in high school, you have a few decisions in front of you in regards to college. Many people you know will try to give you their opinion about where to go and what you should study in college. I say, “Have courage!” Be strong, and speak your mind. Granted there may be parameters such as cost and academic preparation, but ultimately these decisions will affect your life – not anyone else’s. It makes me so sad to hear students say, “My parents think this would be the best major for me.” My response is always, “What do you think?” Or “If you could study something that would make you happy, what would it be?” I am the saddest when a student says, “My parents won’t help me (financially) with my education unless I study XYZ major.” Yes, I have heard it. If you think it makes me sad, think how the student feels. Parents and prospective students – keep in mind that careers evolve. Very few people stay in just one position for their entire career. Think about all the people you know that have studied one thing and went on to be successful in another. Happiness and success go hand in hand.
College students, I ask you, “Do you love what you are studying?” When you are in college, you should be studying what you want to learn. Study something that you find interesting. Usually the students who study a major they are interested in do better academically. Your job at college is to succeed academically. Unless you need a particular certification (such as teaching, accounting, and computer science), most employers will teach you what you need to know once you are on their payroll.
College is four years. It can and should be some of the best four years of your life. You should look back at the time spent in college with great joy and fond memories. College is a time to explore all sorts of possibilities. Try something new. Do what you love most. College is a time to be happy. If you are questioning yourself and your decisions, remember there are many people on campus to help you. Talk to an academic advisor, a faculty member, a staff member, a counselor. Courage starts with a conversation. That’s not so scary. Take a leap of faith. Be courageous!

 

Don’t Ignore Your Back Burner

Often it seems we push things to the back burner. Usually, these are items from our “to do” list that either we don’t particularly want to do, they aren’t particularly time-sensitive, or perhaps both. We all have done it. We have procrastinated getting certain things done. Eventually, the simmering pot will begin to boil.

I have a favorite student who will be a senior this year. He has an item on his back burner, simmering away for the past three years. Now that he is on campus for the fall semester that pot is beginning to bubble a little more. In January, the pot will be boiling! I suppose that is when he  will pay attention.

At this point, you may be wondering, what has he been avoiding that is going to boil over? He has avoided transferring his dual enrollment credit from his high school into the university. Dual enrollment refers to high school students taking college courses. It involves being enrolled in two separate, academically related institutions at the same time. High school students will enroll and complete these courses prior to their graduation. The credit can apply toward high school and college graduation requirements.

My student took an Intro to Psychology course offered by his local community college. He paid extra for the advantage of the dual enrollment course. If transferred, it would appear as college credit. In this particular case, it would satisfy a general education course requirement. However, as my student enters his senior year on campus, he has still not transferred the credit. As his advisor during his first two years on campus, we discussed this course several times. I reminded him over and over that he needed to transfer the credit to the university. Also, he avoided taking Psych 100 (or any other suitable general education course), so that his transfer credit could be used.

After two years of being my assigned student, he changed his major and is officially working with another advisor on campus. However, since we had a rapport, he will occasionally stop in to ask for my advice. The one piece of advice he has not taken: “Get that dual enrollment credit transferred!” At this point, he will probably be scrambling in the last hour to get the credit transferred. When the registrar’s office tells him he needs one more general education course to graduate, he might realize that the pot is boiling over. He is a Dean’s List student. On all accounts, this should not be a difficult thing for him to do, but he has been and is procrastinating. He will not like being told that he is ineligible to graduate. Although it’s a little snarky, I would love to say, “I told you so…” Instead, I will just chuckle to myself and shake my head. After all, he is one of my favorites.

My point is, if you have taken Dual Enrollment courses (or have AP credit) from high school, don’t wait to get them on your college record. Transfer them to your school today! It will not happen without action on your part. For Advanced Placement (AP) courses, you must take the AP Test and score high enough to count as college credit. In both cases, just taking the class is not sufficient. You took these courses in high school to serve a purpose while in college, right? Then, put them to use! However, if you haven’t completed this task, start the process now before the semester gets ahead of you. Four years go quickly. If you put it off too long, your back burner will be boiling over too. You can thank me later.

The author comes clean: Colligate Café has gone under construction for a new look. In the process, there were some technical difficulties which needed resolving. I delayed. Otherwise this post would have been posted weeks ago. My pot was boiling too. It happens to all of us.