For many students, college is the first time their spending is not under a parent’s watchful eye. The temptation to buy more of what they want–rather than what they need–may get the best of them. “The spending habits students form during college helps determine their ability to handle money throughout their lives,” says Wake Forest business professor John Dunkelberg. “College is a time for students to get used to living within a budget and handling financial temptations, such as credit cards.” His first tip for developing a money-savvy student is to pack a budget along with the linens, pens and posters. Students and parents should create a monthly budget together. (See attached story)
As colleges and universities across the country search for ways to enhance undergraduate education with new technology, Wake Forest will again issue laptop computers to each freshman and put them to work in the classroom. One first-year seminar will link Shakespeare students with London’s Globe Theatre through the Internet. In addition to off-campus resources, students are connected via cyberspace to the library and their professors. Using e-mail, professors provide feedback to students and often continue discussions begun in class.
When children leave home to begin college, parents need help with transitions, according to Johnne Armentrout, assistant director of the Wake Forest Counseling Center. When they drop their sons and daughters off at their residence halls, full-time parenting ends, adds Armentrout, who leads a “College Transitions” program for parents of first-year students. She helps parents understand some of the changes freshmen will experience, while encouraging them to refocus on their own lives. She includes an abbreviated marriage enrichment workshop for couples and a session focused on self-discovery and the demands of parenthood for singles.
College classes might be tough, but sharing a small space with a complete stranger can be a greater challenge for college freshmen, says Connie Carson, Wake Forest director of residence life and housing. Learning to handle conflicts is key to getting through that first year with a roommate, says Carson. Differences over small issues such as staying up late or cleaning up the room can build with time unless students learn to talk them out. Wake Forest students sign an informal contract with their new roommates, which encourages them to seek peaceful resolutions to any problems.
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