Author: Rhonda Manns, A2Z College Planning
When preparing for school, teens and their parents are rightfully worried about getting the right grades, finding sufficient funding, and of course getting into the perfect school.
But while your child will be as ready as they’ll ever be for studying, are they ready for the other things that come with going away to college? Now, in their junior or senior year, is the time to make sure they know how to:
1. Have a nutritious bite. Does your child cook for themselves or the family, or given their druthers will they eat Big Macs every night? Nutrition tends to nosedive at college – and with bad eating comes illness, lethargy, and a less rewarding experience. Make sure your teen knows how to eat well.
2. Pack light. It may be a long way away, but now is the time to start deciding what’s going away to school and what isn’t. Dorm rooms are cozy, to say the least, and your child won’t be able to take all their possessions with them. Where are you planning to put the stuff they don’t bring, and are they prepared to know what they should bring?
3. Do laundry. Nobody’s going to do your child’s laundry for them while they’re away, so they might as well learn now unless they want to smell really awful. And it might lighten your load in the meantime!
4. Keep money tight. Your child will be responsible for a lot of budgeting they didn’t have to worry about, and will likely be accosted by credit card companies plying their easy-to-spend borrowed money from the moment they arrive at school. Make sure your child has a budget and knows the ramifications of borrowed money.
5. Lock your stuff at night. It’s an unfortunate fact, but colleges are a haven for thieves, and most students have sad stories of stolen stuff. Ensure your child knows to, and has the tools to, secure their room, their laptop, their phone, and other possessions.
6. Do things on-site. Take nothing for granted. If your child will be using a car at school, do they know how to change a tire, check the pressure in the tires, and when to have the oil changed? If they are relying on a computer do they know where support can be had on campus? Is their cell phone plan and provider suitable for the location they’re moving to?
7. Study right. A good college is vastly harder than high school. If your child’s getting through high school with ease, they need to learn study skills (which can be found elsewhere in this blog.)
Help your child make a great start in college by helping them with these simple tips before next fall!