11 Feb Preparing for University 101
Basic university prep actually begins in early childhood. Most college educated parents want their children to enjoy the same level of prosperity, high income opportunities and prestige that they have, so they start young. Nursery school programs such as Montessori are chosen so the child’s cognitive processes will be awakened and invigorated.
Aside from intellectual studies, there are many ways to prepare aspiring students for university and in fact life. Some may be surprised to know that music and math are related, as they both involve metering. Noting and following the beat, rhythmical applications and enhanced concentration all benefit young students. At this point fresh brains are able to sort information and even new brain control centers may be formed to accommodate this new knowledge. Language is another key learning enabler. Most university students will speak at least one foreign language, others may speak more. For each language learned in childhood, the brain creates a new language control centre.
Foreign language can be likened to a bridge, spanning communications with countless new people and opens doors to other cultures. Everyone knows that the world has become very small. Foreign students routinely begin learning English in first grade, if not earlier. Internet communication is commonplace and more than one language exponentially provides the options of increased communication, business, sales, income and travel opportunities, not necessarily in that order.
Another important aspect of university preparation involves developing socialization skills. Some say the best way of doing so is by killing two birds with one stone and enrolling young students in athletic programs. The physical activity, communication, discipline, team work and conflict resolution skills learned through team sports, training and competition help prepare the students for real world challenges on every level. There is a marked difference between students who have trained athletically and those who have not. They are often less self-centered, have better time organization skills, and know what it means to respect authority for the greater good of the team. With childhood obesity on the rise, the actual sport activity is also good for weight control. Additionally, sports teach the positive results in learning lifelong habits of regular physical exercise. This activity relieves stress, creates a serotonin peacefulness and develops self esteem. Last but not least, sports programs promote muscle development and coordination skills which also ease students in socialization issues.
Preparing for university begins in earnest at the high school level. What’s learned in 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades is later reintroduced on a deeper level in 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades. As the saying goes, you can run but you cannot hide. The best strategy in preparing students for University is to take the bull by the horns and start young. Let the student realize that the future is important, and that what is learned now will reflect on his / her life’s path for the future. When in doubt, if the student is unreasonably struggling with a subject (like Chemistry, Physics, etc.) the parents should be prepared to help bridge the gap with a competent tutor. Warm words of encouragement go a long way, as well as rewards for goals met. Within a period of time, the student will realize that the road to higher education is well worth the effort and sacrifices made along the way.