Preparing for College: Why Trying New Things Is Imperative
How is your student’s school preparing them for college?
At Charlotte Christian (7301 Sardis Road), one of the goals is to graduate students who find their identity in Christ and are prepared academically, spiritually, physically, and emotionally for success in college. This is accomplished in many ways—both inside and outside the classroom—and involves students developing a variety of skills.
Jodi Foxx, upper school director of college counseling at Charlotte Christian, shares an important piece of advice she gives both students and parents: Try new things.
Foxx says she has observed that there are several factors that make a student ready for the adjustment to college, not the least of which is their academic preparation; however, the soft skills gained from trying new things are also at the top of the list.
Trying New Things Develops Important Soft Skills
Trying new things looks different for each student, Foxx notes. It could be participating in the school musical, trying a sport they’ve never tried before, working a part-time job, or joining a Bible study at church.
But Foxx says students who are willing to try something new are the students who develop the following skills that will serve them well throughout their adjustment to college and beyond:
- the student develops the ability to take on a challenge and overcome fear
- the student grows in self-confidence
- the student learns more about their unique design and sometimes discovers new talents
- the student meets new people and expands their friend group, learning to relate to a variety of people and personalities
Charlotte Christian’s programs have been developed to offer these opportunities in a few key ways—graduation requirements include fine arts, speech, and P.E. classes, for example, that can help stretch students to try something new.
“We see students work through their nerves about whatever new thing is before them, offer instruction and encouragement as needed, and sit back to watch them learn and grow,” Foxx explains.
7 New Things To Try During the Pandemic
Foxx reminds us that, even as we live with some limits in our current pandemic, there are still plenty of opportunities to try new things.
Need some socially-distant ideas? Perhaps students could take on the challenge of:
- Hiking up a mountain and appreciating the view at the top
- Reading a good book (maybe a work of literature that seems daunting?)
- Trying surfing for the first time
- Learning to cook a new dish
- Trying their hand at painting or drawing
- Taking fly fishing lessons
- Learning a new musical instrument
How is the teenager in your life doing with trying new things?
Some teens naturally love the adventure of trying something new, but others need a nudge—or a strong push—or a requirement.
If your teenager is one who relishes the opportunity to try new things, be intentional about helping them process the lessons learned from those experiences. Help them connect the dots of what they’ve learned about themselves and reflect back to them how they’ve grown as a result.
If your teenager is one who needs that nudge, have a conversation with them to brainstorm what new things might be a good next step. “While you may require your child to take on something new,” Foxx advises parents, “it will yield more benefits if you provide options and allow your child to choose. Having buy-in from your teenager will always make the experience more beneficial.”
Of course, the reason why people sometimes resist trying new things is that it might result in a failure. But honestly, there’s benefit in that too.
Some of the best lessons learned come on the heels of a swing and a miss. We all experience failures at each stage of our lives and knowing how to rebound from a failure is a key skill that everyone needs to have.
To learn more about how Charlotte Christian can prepare your child for college and “the real world,” join the admissions team for A Closer Look…a Virtual Open House experience:
Junior Kindergarten – Grade 5
October 14, 10 a.m.
Grades 6 – 12
October 28, 10 a.m.