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Easy College Meals to Prepare in AdvanceCollegiateParent
Starting college can be overwhelming for even the most confident student. Harder academics, a new environment, and living on their own for the first time can challenge their self-confidence, making the adjustment even harder.
Here are three things you can do to discreetly boost your student’s self-esteem — whether they're already in college or heading there in a year or two.
Your student can build self-esteem by developing competence and independence. College is the first time many kids live on their own, and this experience can be overwhelming if they're used to relying on others for household tasks.
You can help by having your student take on responsibilities they'll have to do for themselves in college. Make sure they know how to:
Cultivating these essential life skills will help your student feel more secure in their ability to navigate campus life. They'll feel more confident taking on new tasks alone, positively impacting their self-esteem.
Feeling secure in their life skills can also increase your student’s emotional independence.
Emotional independence is the ability to independently manage your stress levels in various situations. This creates resilience and can help your student feel confident that they can face any challenge.
It’s also about regulating their emotions in difficult situations. Encourage your student to express their likes and dislikes without letting their feelings take over. This is important for navigating a new environment with people from different backgrounds and lifestyles.
Other ways to encourage emotional independence include:
Being proficient in life skills and emotionally independent will give your student a definite self-esteem boost.
College students can feel immense pressure to compete with others in their classes and academic programs. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, but it can be a struggle to cope when people around you may seem to earn praise from professors and get good grades easily while you're working hard and perhaps feeling like you can barely achieve average results.
Part of building self-esteem is knowing and being proud of your strengths. It’s hard to develop this confidence when you’re surrounded by new people with various talents. Some students are the best in their hometown in a subject, sport, or club but realize others are better in college. This can be a self-esteem blow.
You can help by honoring your student's strengths and encouraging them not to compare themselves to others. No one skill defines a person; help them discover the abilities you see that they may not see in themselves.
College is an opportunity for freedom that many students have not yet experienced. College kids make mistakes, and it’s unrealistic to think your student will be an outlier.
A way to build your student’s self-esteem is to let them know you trust them to make their own decisions and encourage them to be honest with you about any questionable experiences they may have. Remind them of ways to stay safe in various situations and discuss expectations and consequences related to the student code of conduct. But don’t judge them if they end up learning a lesson or two the hard way.
Expressing confidence in your student can help them feel able to make the right choices, increasing their self-esteem.
Your student's experiences in college will broaden their horizons and help them discover who they want to be. Self-esteem is a key to helping them feel confident about their decisions and look forward to what their future holds.