Hurry up, Summer! Living with Your Student Through Exams


A relaxing dock view in the summer.For graduating high school students, the end of June marks a significant milestone. Exams stand as their last academic hurdle before the finish line.

Over the years we parents have been coaches, referees and maybe even teammates. But now we are the cheerleaders. We urge our students on with encouraging words and wait anxiously as they near the end of high school, ready to embrace our exhausted graduates.

Student emotions run crazy at this time. For many parents, it’s like living with a teenage Jekyll and Hyde. You never know what emoji will flash across the screen of your smartphone. Stressed. Happy. Excited. Sad. Nervous.

Communication at exam time reminds me of the weather in Canada. It’s not always predictable, but for the most part it’s normal and we always get through it.

I have been through this not-so-glorious phase twice. My son graduated high school in 2013 and my daughter is wrapping up Grade 11 with her sights set on a post-secondary degree. Stress has her firmly in its grip. Both children treated the end of year very differently. My son seemed pretty laid-back about the whole affair. My daughter, on the other hand, not so much.

If I had one lesson to pass along based on my experience during this time, I’d say don’t take anything too personally and don’t read too much into texts. OK, maybe that’s two lessons.

One moment my daughter seems confident and put together, the next she’s bombarding my phone with rapid-fire messages in a panic about everything from exams to work to the state of her room. Some I ignore (I won’t take the bait about deep-cleaning her room for her), others I reply to with a reassuring word or emoji. I know she needs to vent so I let her.

The great thing about summertime is that it gives students a much-needed recharge. Some kids might be in school, others might be working, but everyone gets to breathe a little easier during the summer.

In the coming weeks we will be sharing ideas on how you can use the break to help prepare your child for life as a post-secondary student. We’ll also send emails to your student’s Sheridan account to keep them informed about the next steps in their journey. Remind them to keep checking for updates.

Until then, celebrate your student’s hard-earned accomplishments and enjoy some fun in the sun!

Jennifer Lloyd

Check out our tips on how to help your student cope with stress.

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