School is out and the first few days at home are great! Your parents are happy to have you home and you are enjoying taking a break from classes.  As the weeks go on, the patience of you and your parents will be challenged.  It is important to understand where the both of you stand on certain topics and mutually agree on house rules. 

As a student that finished your freshman year, you have to keep in mind that a little under a year ago you were still at home and not the independent person you are today.  Your parents have to also understand that you have been on your own for almost a year.  You may have some new thoughts and new habits they may not be accustom to or agree with.

When going home, be sure you understand and respect the rules in your parent’s house.  You will want to verify certain things like curfew, dinner expectations, cleanliness, and having guest visit. Be sure you ask questions on these topics before you engage in the activities that will cause stress and strain on you and your parent’s relationship.

It is also good to communicate what you have on your agenda. Do you plan to work during the summer? Are you going to go and visit friends? Will you take classes? Do you want to travel? These are all things you have to ask yourself and communicate clearly with your parents.  Being home is exciting and gives you the opportunity to see family and friends from high school. Be sure you are spreading your time evenly among all those that will want your attention. Give time to younger siblings, pets, and grandparents.  Look for moments to bring old and new friends together at the same time.  Spend time with just your parents and let them reconnect with you. 

Finding balance is the most important part of transitioning home for the summer. Communicating your goals for the summer and learning the goals of everyone else will help you to develop a plan and schedule to accomplish everything on your list.  Remember that some of the things that you were able to do while on campus, you will not be able to do while at home.  You have to respect the rules in place and not challenge the authority of your parents.  Three months of summer will go by fast and will be a short sacrifice for the peace that will be achieved by respecting your parent’s wishes and communicating with them.  School is out for the summer, now go on and enjoy.  

The summer is finally here!!! Making it through your first year is a major accomplishment and although you still have a ways to go, take pride in what you have accomplished thus far.  Summer is a great time to rest and rejuvenate for the next year.  This is a great time to reflect on the past year.  Ask yourself, what where your highs this year, yours lows, what did you miss out on accomplishing, what did you not get to, and how would you do things differently.  After you have answered these questions, you are ready to map out your sophomore year.  Each year in college is truly what you make it.  If you take the time to reflect and navigate your path, you will see opportunities for growth and seize those moments to be the best you can be.  Each semester (and year) you should have a set of goals and at the end of the semester (and year) you should take stock and see where you are in accomplishing each of those goals.  Take pride in the goals you have accomplished and refocus the goals you were not able to complete.  If you need to adjust your goals, by adding to them or taking away from them do so. The important factor is not giving up on your goals or revisiting them often to remind yourself why you work so hard and to keep you focused.

Summer also provides a great opportunity for you to take your college career to the next level.  You can use this time to enroll in summer classes, spend time developing yourself at an internship, get a summer job, and even study abroad. Twelve weeks is not really a long time.  If you wait too long to plan or get involved the summer will pass you by and nothing will be completed. The optimal time to prepare for summer is April, but there are still plenty of great opportunities that will be available in May and June, which is why you must act fast and not waste any time.  Summer classes are typically offered in two or three sessions.  Choose classes that are general requirements and will transfer easily or classes that will help prepare you for a more challenging course you have next semester. Many businesses would love to have students (who want to join the profession) donate their time.  However having someone for only four weeks is not as helpful as ten to twelve weeks. This same rule applies to a summer job.  An employer will be more likely to dedicate time, resources and energy to an employee who will be with the company for three months versus one month.  Utilize previous employment, parents, and friends to locate potential opportunities.  If you have the opportunity to travel abroad, seize it! There are many opportunities to learn take classes, volunteer, and immerse yourself into another culture. These experiences provide life lessons that will expand past information learned in the classroom.

Summer is a great time to sit back and just relax, however forgoing relaxation now and investing in your future will help you further along in your career.  There will be plenty of time to relax once you have graduated and are in your career.  Use the summer to reflect, set new goals, and prepare for the next semester. Summer is the time to prepare for the next stage in your life, if you do not use the time wisely you may not achieve the goals you have outlined for yourself.  Enjoy the summer and congrats on being a Sophomore!


The semester is winding down, finals are here, and summer is lurking nearby.  These are normally good signs as it indicates you have made it to the end of the semester/quarter and for most you’ve made it to the end of the year.

Sophomore year is a chance to do-over and redo the things you did or wish you would have done this semester. Now is the time to look at the successes and failures of the year.  Make note of the things that you did well and also look at the things that you could have done better.  Freshman year is a time to experiment, soul search, and determine who you want to be and what works for you.  Year two should be focused on refining the person you created in year one.  If you do not like something, toss it out, change it, or replace it with want you want it to be.

Reflect on the decisions you made.  Did you make the best decisions this year?  Are there things that you can go back and redo or undo?  Use the summer to reflect on the decisions you made and how you want to improve your decision making for next year.  You may not have much power to change grades, study skills you developed, or your involvement level.  However, you do have the power to mend relationships, learn new study skills, and join/take on leadership roles within student organizations. Do what you can to start sophomore year off to a great start.

Also explore opportunities you may have missed.  Did you talk yourself out of running for student government, miss auditions for the next play, or decide against that art class?  Use summer to reflect on missed opportunities and how you can better seize these opportunities next year.

Congratulations on making to the end of year one.  You have completed something that some students were not as successful in achieving.  Although you have made it this far you still have a ways to go and should explore ways to grow, learn, and define yourself. Be purposeful with your thoughts and actions. Be deliberative in the steps that you take. Be the best version of you that you can be. Enjoy your summer!

You are almost one week into the new year and can now officially say you made it through your first semester and by now you should be reflecting on your grades.  For some, all of the hard work has paid off and you are basking in the glory of your achievement.  For some, you are assessing the level of effort you put in and how just a slight push or an extra hour of studying each week could have moved you up on the grading scale.  For some, you are questioning all of the hard work you put in and the end results.  All of these thoughts are normal and should be surfacing at the end of each semester.

Similar to New Year’s resolutions, you should focus on New Semester Resolutions.  Each semester is an opportunity to reflect and evaluate how your classes ended, new relationships built or conversely old relationships lost, and areas for your personal growth and improvement. The nice thing about college is each semester gives you the chance to have a “do-over” and improve next semester.  While you are enjoying your break, take a few minutes and reflect on how things turned out, the things you would like to change, and the things you would like to continue.  Create a list of reasonable resolutions and approach them the same way you would a New Year’s resolution.

So you didn’t get along so well with your roommate, you did not get as involved as you hoped, or you neglected your personal wellness.  Identify your list and focus on a plan to do better in the new semester.  When it comes to resolutions, we often times start off with good intentions and lose steam and ultimately fail at achieving the goal.  In order to be successful at goal setting and achieving the goal we must look at how we approach resolutions.  Below are a list of things to consider when it making/achieving resolutions for the new semester.

  1. 1. Brainstorm and define your resolution; being too broad can make the goal a daunting task to take on.  Don’t just say I want to lose weight; better define the goal with how much weight and where this will help in step 2.
  2. Create a plan with clear steps on how you plan to achieve the goal. Now you can easily identify how you will achieve the goal. I will do 50 crunches a day.
  3. Immediately create the plan; do not put off for tomorrow what you can do today. Do not wait for the sun to shine just right and all of the stars to align before you start.  If you are sitting there watching TV, throw in crunches on commercial breaks.
  4. Write down the resolution and plan to bring life to it; until it is written, it is merely an idea. Create a dream board, put it on your mirror, or journal about it.
  5. Think semester-long and not just the first few weeks of the semester; incorporate the entire semester into your plan. By the end of the semester I want to do 200 crunches in a day.
  6. Be flexible as plans are not always executed as intended; bounce back and go back to the plan, revisions to the plan are okay. I had to study for a test so tomorrow I will do 100 crunches.