Former Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture
Former Michigan Senator
Businessman, The Irwin Group
LSSU Outstanding Alumnus Award '91
Parents at Lake State
Getting Summer Plans in Place
Perhaps your student already has job, internship or volunteer plans in place for the summer. If so, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Yet, if he’s still trying to figure out what to do this summer, you can help:
Ask your student what he/she’s Interested In. What does it mean to “have a worthwhile summer” in your student’s eyes? Ask! Seeing what’s important to her will help you help her reach her goals, instead of imposing your own.
Direct your Student to Career Services. The good folks in this office can help him look for summer jobs, internships and more. They won’t get the job for him—that’s up to him! Yet, they’ll provide support and resources throughout the process.
Put Out Some Feelers. It’s not your job to “fix” the summer plans issue for your student. Yet, if your students asks and will be with you for the summer, put out some feelers in town. Let community members know that your talented, hard-working kid will be around and looking for work!
Talk Realistically About Money. It’s easy to have grand dreams about the summer yet, it’s also important to be realistic about what needs to be done. Have an intentional conversation with your student about money and what needs to happen in order to cover next year’s college costs. If she knows that she’s responsible for spending money and books and other expenses, that will help your student gauge his/her work schedule while also seeing if she can fit in the volunteer gig she’d like to try. Providing complete information so she can make adult choices is a great step in fostering self-responsibility.
Now that it’s April, your student may need a nudge to get some summer plans in place. Offer support and ideas and encouragement. The rest is up to him!
Talk About “Summer Curriculums”
Since your student is in the academic mindset, talking about a “summer curriculum” might make a lot of sense to her. This just means being intentional about the things she’d like to learn and experience this summer. Maybe she’s been talking about how she misses reading “real” books because she always has reading to do for class. This can go on her curriculum. Or maybe she’s hoping to learn how to kayak or knit or ride a horse… put it on the curriculum!
And make it a partnership by suggesting that both of you (or the whole family!) write out your summer curriculums. Then share them so you can support one another in pursuit of these summer goals!