This is it! You have put in so many years into making sure that your kiddo is prepared academically for college. When they receive their high school diploma, and its a big relief that you have raised a successful child! Woo Hoo! Give yourself a big pat on the back because you have spent many hours doing homework, parent-teacher conferences, science projects, encouragement talks and lots of love. Now, what do you do when their getting ready to leave for college?
It’s a whole new ball game and if its your first one to leave, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. I have had the privilege to help 4 amazing kids get ready for college. Did I do everything right? Heck, no! Hopefully, my bumps in the road and successes can help you!
1. Finances: You need to figure out how your child is going to deal with money issues. It’s a great idea to give them a mini crash course on creating a budget and paying electronically. We weren’t able to help our kids financially and so they worked through the summer to save their money. We would help with groceries, insurance, phone and etc., but even if they have had a job, they have never done it by their selves and it will be totally different without mom and dad. If they do work while going to school, help them figure out how many hours a week they can work without feeling overloaded!
2. Checklists: Start putting together as early as possible, a checklist. Not sure where to begin? Get suggestions from the free site College Packing List. You will feel more in control.
3. Doctor Appointment: Schedule appointments for your child to visit the doctor and dentist. Fill their prescriptions. Yes, they will have the campus health office, but you will feel better if you send them off completely checked out!
4. Boil an Egg?: Can your child boil one? If your child is going to be in a dorm, they may not have cooking facilities, but if they living in a apartment, you want to make sure they will be eating more than Ramon noodles!
5. Look for bargains: Everything about college is expensive! Help them find ways to save. For better deals on books, check out chegg or Amazon, they can scan barcodes and compare prices. Visit the Dollar Store and help them see that they can find amazing deals that help them save money.
6. Time Management: It is so hard to learn how to be in charge of your on schedule, when your use to “Mom” taking care of your every move.You can get them the book College 101 for $8.52 for Kindle or $11.94 for paperback. That’s one of the hardest thing for college freshman’s to do, manage their time.
7. Find Opportunities: Help your child understand that college is a place with tons of opportunities. The more involved they get, they will feel more part of the college experience. My son Zac, had the opportunity to go to Peru and South Africa for his majors and the it was mostly funded by the school.
8. Be Social: Encourage them to be social but there needs to be a balance. They have to get out there and meet people and socialize but they need to make sure their studies come first.
9. Roommates: You would think that it would be easy to live with a roommate, especially if they have siblings, but this is a whole new experience! It can be so uncomfortable to live, eat, sleep, change, study and wake up with a total stranger in the same room! Encourage them to be honest with the roommate and tell the roommate to do the same and hopefully they can be open with each other when something is bothering them.
10. Be Careful: Talk about being smart and beware so they can be safe! Take the time to find out about crime on campus and what they can do to avoid becoming a victim. Trust your intuition about risky situations. Thefts are common on campuses. Don’t leave belongings unattended and always lock your apartment.