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Though it’s January and college seems far away, now is the time reflect on your abilities to manage all the aspects of your future life on campus. Take a moment to think about your life right now:

What are you fully capable of doing?

What areas can you grow into before stepping onto campus?

The list of possibilities is LONG!

  • Manage all the time in your day (classes may be 12-16 hours a week, readings/assignments might be another 50 hours a week… there’s still LOTS of time!)
  • Get up and out the door on time
  • Be prepared for classes/Complete assignments on time
  • Travel with friends or on your own—to see friends on other campuses or explore nearby towns, cities, ski slopes, or beaches
  • Make sure you’re doing everything from eating right to getting enough sleep to doing laundry to understanding your finances to mindfully choosing friends, relationships, and socializing options…

 

Once you realize what you already know how to do and what you have yet to learn, make the time between now and August to get comfortable with new and different tasks and responsibilities. Take charge of your schedule, your responsibilities (making some meals, spending money and using credit or debit cards, getting around to new and different places). Start the conversation with your parents about how you can make a smooth transition from life at home to life at college.

 

Just two nights ago I spoke to parents at a PTA meeting in Montrose, NY. We spent some time, and had a serious conversation, about how parents can shift into being supportive of their teens stepping into adulthood.  Teens stepping up and parents stepping back. It’s critically important for everyone involved.

 

While this article on www.Edutopia.org begins the conversation, there’s more to be considered and discussed. Check out more of my ideas College Eligible vs. College Ready

 

I just spent the first 10 minutes of my day planning to have fun… because I had to make sure it got done!

Yesterday* was full of promise! I had big plans to clean up my studio while watching a DVD, find a jewelry project I wanted to start, start a quilt, and take pictures of some recent craft work. In fact, I started by checking my email, getting caught up in interesting future projects, and then a friend called out of the blue… Over an hour later I had really connected with my friend, and had even worked on a craft project while I was on the phone, but my plans for the day were going sideways… And so, while I recovered some of my plans/fun, by watching the DVD/cleaning up and finding my long lost jewelry project, I never got to the quilt—well, that’s not exactly true. I took out the main pieces, looked at the clock, and decided I couldn’t start so late in the day. There’s a lesson in this story. And so this morning, I decided to sit down and plan my fun!

In reality, I’m really adept at making sure I have fun, but I realized yesterday that it’s so easy to get knocked off schedule and begin to lose control… Of my day!

So here are my big picture plans for fun projects this year…

photo

I think that sometimes I don’t get to all my plans because I have so many of them! I’m going to test that theory by planning my fun for the next month. Does that sound like drudgery to you? It actually sounds exciting to me! I know that if I brainstorm everything I want to do, create a plan/schedule there is a much better chance I will get it all done. It also gives me something to look forward to—completing projects and beginning new ones.

 

I appreciate the irony of sharing all this, when my most recent post written for www.teenlife.com (to post this week) was all about having fun everyday through creating a list and a plan for enjoying 10 Delicious Daily Habits—not to mention Plan Your Fun! which I created when my daughter was in high school, feeling that the burdens of school and the college admissions process were overwhelming. In reality, I get to my Delicious Daily Habits because I have made them a habit. My (short-term) projects are different, they’re not ingrained in my daily life. Now I realize that I need to make that so!

What’s your takeaway from this meandering tale? Do you find that big plans often get blown off course by unexpected events? When I have a long term project—for fun or for work—sometimes it feels like I can miss a day, because it will take so much time to complete, and that’s okay. The answer is, sometimes it is and other times it’s not okay. It’s fine to take a day off from a project if it’s a mindful choice and the deadline permits. In reality though, projects and tasks begin to drag on when I become caught up in what pops into my life, without wresting control of my schedule.

So, a word of caution, whether it’s planning for fun or planning for college, be sure to make the time to develop a timeline… and actively decide how you will spend your precious time every day! 

*This piece was written Monday/yesterday morning.

 
 
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