Wednesday’s Parent: 3 steps forward leaving regrets behind

Carrying a backpack of regrets. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Carrying a backpack of regrets. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Every time I hear the phrase, “No worries,” I get this vivid image of someone toting a heavy backpack filled with regrets and hoping for some relief. From children to parents, that someone is anyone who is second guessing an important decision.

The biggest problem with regrets is it prolongs the decision-making process way past the actual making of the decision. To mix metaphors, regrets bring anxious thoughts of greener pastures supposedly at the end of the road not taken. They exert constant pressure preventing peace of mind.

There is only one sure way to lighten the regret backpack and that’s to empty it. Here’s my three step plan to move forward leaving regrets behind:

1. Define regret Think about what really is bothering you. An example for your college-bound teen may be: Is it worry about choosing the right college to attend or not being able to excel there? For parents concerned about college costs, are you stressing about the size of the bill for one family member or the impact on the entire family’s standard of living or your future retirement plans?

2. Make peace It’s time to accept the past defined regret and deal with the emotions it elicits. Perhaps your teen is anxious because he is second guessing his chosen major or embarrassed about a lack of one. Maybe you are sad about your child leaving the nest or fretting about his/her living in a dorm. Identify your emotion, take a deep breath and release both of them, letting reason provide calm analysis.

3. Take responsibility It’s time to resume control logically. Situations are changed by choices but that generates new options. There will always be challenges and consequences and a good plan will help achieve your goals. Learn from the past, focus on your future and move on. Choosing what to do next is a combination of good decision-making skills and instincts – something parents raising college-bound teens are very familiar with and a life skill our children may practice to succeed!

Read Suzanne’s post: No Regrets


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from to and vice versa.

The importance of school spirit to college choice

Photo by Janet

Feeding school spirit. Photo by Janet

This is also a tale of two college-bound students. One wants to attend a college with a great football team to root for and the other wants to stay far away from any rah rah activities. Both are missing the bigger picture.

School spirit isn’t just about cheering for a favorite sports team. It’s about creating a strong bond that survives graduation. From enticing students to apply to facilitating alumni to become generous donors, both the institution and the individual have a huge stake in this continued relationship.

The more students are attached to their school, the greater their impetus to succeed and do their school proud. The more successful the college is in developing the skills and knowledge of it’s future graduates, the more likely the college reputation will increase. The better the school’s reputation (brand), the more students will want to apply, attend and graduate.

This is a list of some major school spirit benefits for both colleges and students:

Colleges benefits

  • College brand grows
  • Higher college ranking
  • More students apply
  • More alumni donate
  • Greater research/business opportunities

 Students benefit

  • Pride in their school
  • Greater prestige of diploma
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Better education and more motivation
  • Alumni and others want to hire/do business with grads

Encouraging students who will thrive and become successful donors to the college and make notable achievements beyond the campus is a win/win for both.

So I tell the student who wants to be a fan that it is essential to also fan what the college offers in programs, activities, location and opportunities to maximize the college experience.

Then I say to the apathetic student that college is about nurturing passions in learning to grow academically, socially, and financially so don’t miss out on what else the college offers. (It’s usually included in the college bill anyway.)

As students finalize their college lists, send in applications, and wait for admission offers, they can begin to really analyze what the college can do for them and what they can do for their college. They will soon realize the true importance of school spirit to college choice.

What the collegebound can learn from Class of 2013

The graduate. Photo by David Goehring CarbonNYC

‘Tis the season for college graduation and the 2013 class is joining the workforce. What the job market looks like is the subject of the infographic pictured below.

The college-bound and job hunters should pay particular attention to the middle of the infographic for two reasons.

  1. Location College grads often continue to live and work near their college alma mater. The college-bound may want to consider these locations when choosing a college to attend.
  2. Qualifications The 5 top personal qualities that employers seek are listed. These qualities will help applicants achieve goals before, during and after college., the largest online marketplace for self-storage, presents some figures that shed some light on what the future holds for the Class of 2013. Taken from a number of different sources, this infographic should give recent graduates a good preview of what they can expect out there in the real world.

College Class of 2013 Storage Infographic
Produced by SpareFoot. Copyright 2013.

Cooper Union says no more but others still offer free tuition

Fewer colleges offer free tuition

Few colleges offer free tuition.
Photo by kenteegardin,

Cooper Union announced it will end its tuition–free policy and start charging tuition to those who can afford it. This leaves a handful of tuition-free colleges including three in the New York area. Only one of these is a private institution and the two federal service academies come with strings attached.

Read on for the list: