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5 Tips to Help Launch Your High School Senior - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

5 Tips to Help Launch Your High School Senior


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The last first day, the last school dance, the final round of exams – it's the home stretch for high school seniors. Although many seniors may relish checking off each day on the countdown to graduation, it can also be at time of great change and uncertainty.


“Many seniors feel overwhelmed by the feeling of ‘What now?'” explains Scott Crosby, career and college counselor at Doherty High School. “This is an important time for kids to really become young adults.”

Crosby encourages parents to help their teens successfully transition to post-high school life with the following five tips.

1. Combat senioritis

With the finish line on the horizon, it's prime time for your student to contract senioritis. Symptoms may include a lack of focus, apathy towards schoolwork and increased risky behavior.

Remind your teen to finish their high school career strong. Scholarships, financial aid packages and even acceptance letters can be taken away if students slack off or make poor decisions in the remaining weeks.

“At Colorado Springs School District 11 schools, we want seniors to make those really great, special memories in high school and not do anything that would put everything they've worked so hard for in jeopardy,” says Crosby.

2. Don't be a helicopter parent

The end of senior year can be tough for a lot of parents because it means their child is finally leaving the nest. As your child begins to transition into becoming an adult, it's best to loosen the reigns a bit.

“Senior year is a time for parents to sort of fade into the background more than ever,” says Crosby. “That doesn't mean that they can't continue to be 100 percent supportive and encouraging, but that old adage of being a helicopter parent doesn't work very well in college.”

3. Encourage independence and responsibility

Although becoming an adult means more freedom for your senior, it also means more responsibility.

“For seniors' entire lives people have been doing things for them. Now it's really on them to take that big step and be independent,” says Crosby.

Help your teen get started with small steps, such as having them call their college and ask what the next step is or what they need for orientation.

4. Be clear about finances

It's prime time to sit down and talk with your student about finances and money management. Let them know that while you can provide some monetary support, it's limited.

“When it comes to money, you should let your child know it's not an endless supply,” says Crosby. “When it's gone, it's gone so they need to budget appropriately.”

5. Be a good listener

Make yourself available and be a sounding board as your senior navigates this crucial transition. Urge your senior to seek out guidance from other adults they trust, such as teachers, coaches or counselors.

At Colorado Springs School District 11, counselors are ready and available to provide support, help and advice to students about everything from post-grad life and career planning to crisis management and personal development.

“As educators and counselors, this is what we've been trained to do: guide teenagers in making those challenging decisions,” says Crosby. “We just want students to seek out that advice and not feel like they're alone anymore, that there are always resources available to them.”

The Colorado Springs School District 11 counseling program is dedicated to providing support and helping students realize their academic and personal potential. All 43 middle school and high school counselors have a Master's degree and follow the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model standards for counseling.

Visit the Counseling page on the D11 website for more information. Connect with us on Facebook #CSSD11 and Twitter @CSSD11.

This article was produced for and sponsored by Colorado Springs School District 11. It is not a product of or affiliated with KOAA News 5.

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