Ask Deanie: Prepare for Next Year and Give Us Your Feedback

ask-deanie-sm.jpg Finishing the first year in college is a big deal, so if you haven’t done so already, now is a great opportunity to celebrate your student’s accomplishments.

Don’t be surprised to learn that a student with a year of college under his or her belt is not the same one you moved to campus a short 10 months ago. Though they still may seem like “kids,” they’re well on their way to adulthood.

So now that you have them home again, what can you do to help them prepare for next year? Find some suggestions below.

Also, we’d like to hear from you to help us prepare for next year: How do you like to receive information from us?

> Would you prefer to receive SMU resources in print or posted online?
> Do you like to learn about SMU news by email or by mail, and how often?

Please let me know at or 214-768-4797, and then get back to enjoying your summer!

• Summer is a good time for parents and students to look back and evaluate how the first year went and to set goals for the coming year. The Academic Calendar can help families plan ahead, including for finals and fun breaks, such as Family Weekend, which is set for September 28-30, 2012.

• Students also need some down time, but suggest that they read a good book, such as SMU’s 2012 Common Reading, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, a nonfiction exploration of the Wall Street crisis by Michael Lewis. Remind them that reading will keep their minds engaged in skills that will be useful in the classroom and beyond.

• Beginning the search for fall part-time jobs or internships can help students explore career opportunities that might be related to their major interests of study. Students should aim to have at least two internships before graduating. Be sure to offer them your family or business contacts. Campus resources, including the Hegi Family Career Development Center, Counseling and Psychiatric Services and the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center, are all open in the summer and available to offer support.

• Discuss and plan for opportunities to engage in campus life beyond the classroom. Is your student interested in researching answers to big questions or getting involved in the community? Consider the Undergraduate Research Assistant program, Big iDeas or the new Engaged Learning program. How about leadership, service or sports? Check out the Community Engagement and Leadership Center, as well as more than 200 student organizations and intramural activities at SMU. And perhaps your student would like to explore way beyond campus. Summer is a good time to plan for studying, working or serving abroad through one of the 150 programs offered by SMU Abroad.

Question for Deanie? Ask Deanie at or 214-768-4797.