1. Attention parents of High School Seniors!

    High-school graduation can be an exciting but stressful milestone for your child and entire
    family. Below are eight important tips to help your child make a seamless transition from high-school graduate to a first-year college student.

1. Financial Planning:
 Complete financial aid paperwork, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and any additional forms required by colleges.
 Explore scholarship opportunities and deadlines.
 Discuss budgeting strategies with your child for managing expenses during college.

2. College Visits and Decisions:
 Accompany your child on any final college visits or revisit campuses to help them make a final decision.
 Review acceptance letters, financial aid packages, and any scholarship offers together.
 Help your child make a final decision on which college to attend.

3. Housing and Roommate Selection:
 If applicable, assist your child with selecting on-campus housing or finding off- campus housing options.
 Discuss roommate preferences and encourage your child to reach out to potential roommates. A lot of colleges have social media or other platforms to connect students who are seeking roommates.


4. Academic Preparation:
 Ensure your child completes any remaining high school coursework and exams.
 Assist with registering for any necessary placement exams or orientation programs required by the college. Sometimes they are scheduled earlier than you may think! Encourage your child to check their email regularly for these dates.
 Discuss academic expectations and resources available at the college.

5. Health and Wellness:
 Schedule a physical exam and ensure your child is up to date on vaccinations required by the college.
 Review health insurance options, whether through the college or staying on your family plan. Also discuss and plan any new physician offices or pharmacies that they can access if they are attending a college out of state.

 Discuss mental health resources and support available on campus.

6. Personal and Emotional Support:
 Have open conversations about your child's expectations, fears, and excitement about starting college.
 Encourage independence and decision-making skills while offering your support and guidance.
 Discuss strategies for managing stress and homesickness during the transition.

7. Practical Preparations:
 Create a packing list and assist your child with gathering necessary items for their dorm or apartment.
 Plan transportation to the college, whether by car, plane, or other means.
 Consider attending any parent orientation programs offered by the college to
learn more about support services and resources available.


8. Celebrate and Enjoy the Moment:
 Take time to celebrate this milestone with your child and family.
 Encourage your child to connect with friends and make memories during their final months at home.
 Embrace the excitement and anticipation of the journey ahead.


By completing these tasks together, you can help ensure a smooth transition for your child as they prepare to embark on their college journey. Best of luck!

The Importance of Breathing

Shannon Tavis, LMSW

Over time, humans have evolved to be shallow chest-breathers. However, this is NOT best way for us to
breathe. Engaging your diaphragm (the muscle in your stomach) while breathing in and out can make

the world of a difference with multiple areas of our day-to-day life. You may have heard to take deep
breaths when stressed or anxious, and this is great advice, but you do not have to be under distress to
gain the benefits of this breathing style.

Diaphragmatic breathing has been shown to improve depression and anxiety levels, reduce cortisol
levels (which can help with regulating weight), lower blood pressure, better quality sleep, and improved
energy levels.

There are lots of ways to practice this breathing style, but the easiest is to sit up straight with your hand
on your stomach and pretend there is a balloon in your belly. When you breath in, pretend the balloon is
filling with air and puff out your stomach as you slowly and deeply inhale. Before you immediately let
the air out, hold onto that air for one full second. Holding your breath before exhaling stimulates your
Vagus nerve which physically slows your heart rate and makes you feel calmer. When you do exhale, pull
your diaphragm in (pretend your pulling your belly button toward your back). Again – remember to do
all of these steps slowly and deeply. Here is the outline below:

 5 second inhale (slowly with diaphragm being pushed out)
 1 second hold
 5 second exhale (slowly with diaphragm being pulled in)


Regular practice of this breathing style (every day for at least 5 minutes if possible) will lead to the above
health benefits. You can do this breathing practice while in traffic, right before bed, or while sitting at
your desk. There is no wrong time to practice!


For more information on Shannon and her specialties, click here

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