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Conversation Starters: When to use them and why.

August 30, 2018

Keeping a conversation going and less awkward silences from your student(s)

As your student(s) transitions from high school (childhood) to college (adulthood) or starting their 2nd, 3rd, 4th or final year of college (adulting), here are some conversation starters. Why: to have an open mind, listen and be supportive of your students’ possibly overwhelming experiences they are about to encounter. Try open-ended questions to expand the conversation and try not to expect one right answer, they could possibly be answered in many ways.

  • 1st-time Freshmen 
    Have you found a good place to study?
    Have you attended any events yet?
    Is the amount of money we agreed upon working out?
    What are your roommates like?
    Are you sleeping and exercising? (two aspects of college life many students take for granted)
  • 2nd-year student
    Are you adjusting to your classes and work schedule? (Working either on or off campus can be tricky)
  • Is the amount of money we agreed upon working out in view of your part-time job?
  • 3rd-year student (Junior year is when college becomes serious!)
    You’ve changed your major! Does your faculty advisors, Department Chair, and or Dean know of your change of major and everyone on the same page?  -Students have the option of changing their major or minor, but this should be done in consultation with faculty advisors (and the Dean if there are special concerns). Changing a major can result in additional time before graduation so the change should be done only with careful planning.
  • 4th-year student
    How can I help you…? (It’s the home stretch, and graduation is just a few months away!)

Creating a positive dialogue to work together on problem-solving, predictions, compare/contrast and evaluate outcomes can lead to future ongoing conversations in the weeks to follow.