Friday, February 11, 2011


Most kids are completely unprepared for college when they show up as freshman.  Oftentimes we think that the big things to figure are where they will go and how we will pay for it.  Students are left to themselves to figure out how to survive spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.  It is no wonder that 50% of students who attend college drop out or fail out, 33% within their first year. 

As Jennifer and I began thinking, preparing and praying about sending Jessica off to college in a little over a year (18 months!) we realized we had to have a bigger vision for her college years than just where she will go and how we will pay for it.  We were relieved to find College Ready

College Ready is a Bible study/DVD series written by John Bryson and Robert LewisCollege Ready challenges students to have a Godly vision for their college years, instead of being helplessly tossed about by the pressures of societal norms.  College Ready focuses on 5 areas that a student must win in order to thrive in college.
They are:
1.  Empowering Friendships
2.  Excelling Academically
3.  Dating Right
4.  Having Fun
5.  Growing spiritually

Here is our plan:
*Jennifer has taken her through StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Your Unique Design to help her understand how God has uniquely wired her and what her strengths are.
*We have talked through non-collegiate options like spending a year working at an orphanage in Africa or Brazil.
*We have done some research and have mapped out 6 campuses to tour this year.  
*At each campus Jessica and I take the tour and then head to the cafeteria to eat lunch and watch one of the six videos from College Ready.  We discuss what we saw on the tour, the video and usually wrap up by making a pro/con list. 
So far we have visited the University of Memphis and Rhodes College.  Both are great schools that our city can be very proud of. 

My sweet girl has grown up in Memphis as an Ole Miss fan, and had never stepped foot on the U of M campus.  To say that she had low expectations would be an understatement.  After the tour it went from being on her "no way" list to her "I could go there" list.  Probably because she figured out there was a Chick-Fil-A on campus. 

This week we visited Rhodes College, which might be the prettiest spot in all of Memphis.  Rhodes has a magical feel with its collegiate gothic architecture.  There is no institution more impressive in all of Memphis than Rhodes College.  It's commitment to excellence and attention to detail is unbelievable. We went on a tour, met with an admission counselor, visited a class and went to "The Rat" to watch the second College Ready lesson.  When we left we were both inspired to read more, think more and create something spectacular. 

It has been an amazing time!  Jessica is so spirited and fun, college campuses are so full energy and life and I cherish the value based meaningful discussions we have. I enjoy having intentional one-on-one time with her.  What a blessing she will be wherever God sends her. 

How are you preparing your child for college? 
Jessica and I at Rhodes