How to prepare your child for college success
Send your child off to college with all the tools they need for successGraduation time has just concluded and many of our nation’s young alumni are preparing to begin their college experience. With this major life change on the horizon many are wondering just how to prepare their children for college.
At this age it is probably a little tough to remember exactly what college was like, and even if you do, you’re probably aware that it has changed significantly over the years. Here are a few quick practical tips for helping your child make college a success.
First, a Quick Talk
As the time for your child’s departure to college closes in it is a good idea to sit and have a serious heart to heart with them about it. Listen to them and ask them what excites them about the prospect of college, as well as what may be giving them anxiety.
It is also a good time to shore up a few old lessons about respect for one’s self and others.
Make sure that your child is outfitted with all the essentials just as if they were going away to their first apartment. This means cell phone, laundry supplies, school supplies, bedding, etc. You should also probably send them off with some food as the first few weeks of college can be quite hectic, and it is easy to miss dining facility hours.
You should also count on paying for their phone and car insurance at least until their work study or financial aid kicks in. Clothing is also important, as most college kids will face some amount of financial struggle it is a good idea to outfit them with some durable clothing that will last at least a couple of years.
Be Sure It's Time
Take the time to consider your child’s emotional state and social skills. Just because they’ve graduated high school doesn’t necessarily mean its time to go to college right away. If your child has experienced trauma or loss in the time leading up to their departure, it’s a good idea to check in with them (and perhaps a mental health professional) to ensure that the time is right to take this big step. Mental and emotional stressors are a major driver of most college’s drop out rates.
It's important for a child going off to college (or any child leaving home for the first time) to feel like they are supported and loved, even if their loved ones are not in the immediate vicinity. This will give them confidence they need to make friends, take necessary risks, and succeed academically.
Most of what you need to do to prepare your child for college has already been done by the time they are on their way out. You’ve given them tools, they’ve proven themselves worthy of admission and now all you need to do is make sure they are ready to cast off into the great wide world.