University Preparation for the Class of 2016: Beyond the SMUS Bubble

We hosted two events on Tuesday, May 24 with the goal of helping grade 12 students and their parents prepare for the next phase – life after SMUS. We wanted to give both groups a chance to hear words of wisdom from those who have gone before and to have the opportunity to talk about their own thoughts, worries, hopes, and expectations.

The variable configuration of seats in the chapel worked really well for both events. It allowed us to have room for 150 students sitting in groups of 10 (including a facilitator) for small discussion, and was re-set for the evening to accommodate a panel presentation (of university experts, past parents, and alumni) skillfully facilitated by Keven Fletcher. In both presentations, we talked about what students might anticipate and how they might ensure (or at least strive for) both academic success and a healthy life while at university.

If you were unable to attend, we encourage you to check out the topics covered and see what you missed. Download the PowerPoint presentations from the two events below.

Beyond the Bubble Parent Evening Presentation

Beyond the Bubble Student Presentation

The student event was buzzing with conversation and laughs. They really enjoyed hearing the high and low points of their facilitator’s experience at university. The facilitators (a mix of teachers, University Counsellors and alumni) commented on how engaged and interested our students were in the conversations: they were excited to talk about what’s coming and appreciated advice on how to manage some of the tricky stuff. One message that came through loud and clear was encouraging students to find and rely on the Human Resources at their university or college in order to have the best chance of success, and to support them to work through any challenges that they may encounter.

For the parents, one of the strongest messages was one of finding and maintaining the “right” connection and communication with their soon-to-graduate son or daughter. Included in the Parent Evening Presentation file above are some of the “nuggets” that were passed along during the course of the evening, including this one, provided by one of the university experts on the panel: “The Gold Standard Parent is someone who does everything they can do to prepare the student for the ride, including buying the ticket, but the parent doesn’t ever plan to go on the ride. This parent celebrates and explores the process rather than focusing on the destination or product.” 

We look forward to hearing about life beyond the bubble from these grads in the months and years ahead.

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