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Help Making Final College Choice

May 11, 2012
By Marge Eberts and Peggy Gisler ,

Question: Believe it or not, I have been accepted by my first choice college, as well as the one where most of my friends are going. I really thought that I'd go to my first choice if I were admitted. But hearing about the plans for attending our state university from all of my friends has given me second thoughts. Can you help me make this decision? -- Very Undecided

Answer: Congratulations on being accepted to two colleges. Revisit both schools, if possible, and try to see things that you haven't seen before. Some schools have orientation days in the spring for students who have been accepted. Attend these at both schools, if you can, because it will give you a good view of what each college is like, from living in a dorm to eating on campus to attending freshman classes, and even seeing what your social life might be like. If you can't go to an orientation session, visit the campus on your own and explore everything that you can.

Of course, your education is important. If you are really set on a major or have a very strong extracurricular interest, you will want to select the school that offers the best opportunity to study in a specific area or participate in your interest, such as intramural sports or musical productions. If the problem is not going to school with your friends, you must determine if you are ready to branch out and make new friends. Most colleges make it easy for freshmen to meet each other and socialize.

This is your decision to make. Avoid letting others make it for you. Decide on what your most important preferences are, and choose that college.

Question: I know having good social skills is important in many situations, including school. What social skills should I be teaching my young children? -- For Socializing

Answer: Both having and not having social skills can influence how well children do academically in school. You want your young children to be acquainted with sharing, waiting their turn, asking to use things, respecting other people, not interrupting, and managing both anger and frustration before they start school. Of course, they won't learn all these skills at once. As they continue through the elementary school years, you will need to continue helping them acquire these behaviors.

You can and should reinforce good behavior by praising your children whenever they exhibit good social skills. Don't overlook bad behavior in young children, saying they will grow out of it -- this may not happen. The sooner younger children learn how to behave appropriately, the fewer problems they will have in school.

What you do can help your children acquire social skills. You can show that these skills are part of the way you behave. If they see you waiting patiently in line, not losing your temper to rude drivers, taking turns and not interrupting when you talk to others, they will be learning social skills. And it's absolutely necessary that you treat your children with respect by making polite requests, listening to them without interrupting and avoiding any violence in Send questions and comments to Dear Teacher, in care of Mahoning Valley Parent, 1 North Illinois Street No. 2004, Indianapolis, IN 46204, or log on to, or email



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