I still remember the day we dropped our oldest child off for her first year of college. I think I cried all the way home. She was excited to start college life and I was thinking about how much I was going to miss her.
All of my kids are grown and done with college (where did the time go?). If you have a child preparing for college life, these tips will help.
We all want our kids to do well in life and often a big part of this is sending them to college. Then there is the stress of preparing them for this. We put so much time and effort into making sure they keep their grades up and sorting out clubs and their extra-curricular schedule to enhance their application.
It’s easy to neglect to prepare them for the actual experience as well as their academic performance. Leaving home and staying somewhere on their own for the first time can be a very daunting experience. Here are a few things to help them with the adjustment.
How To Prepare Kids for College Life
Make Sure Your Child Knows How To Budget
Budgeting is a key life skill. It’s important to get on top of it when your kids are young. This means before going to college.
A young person with all this new-found freedom can get themselves in a whole lot of financial trouble if they are not careful. We all know that studying is expensive.
The average level of student loan debt for graduates is well documented and this is to be expected and can be a legitimate part of the calculation of going to college. But it is credit card debt and other easy finance that is the real killer for some students as these are not designed to be long-term and can carry very high-interest rates.
Make Sure Your Child Is Safety Conscious
Kids will do stupid things. We’ve all been there! We want them to know how to be safe when they are out and about, go with friends, watch their drinks for being spiked, etc. They should know how to be safety aware while living in their student accommodation so that everything goes smoothly.
Make sure you discuss these important safety tips with your student:
- Stay sober.
- Keep your doors and windows locked.
- Know the number to call campus security.
- Keep an eye on your surroundings.
- Maintain privacy on social media.
- When going out, always stay in a group.
- Make sure your phone is always charged.
Eating Well Is Key
We’ve all heard about (or maybe experienced) the Freshmen 15. It’s a real thing. Some kids gain weight during the first year of college because they don’t have access to mom’s cooking. Fast food rules.
Young people living alone for the first time are often quite lacking in culinary skills. This leads to unhealthy eating habits. One way of avoiding this is by making sure they know how to cook the basics. With so many recipes for easy student meals out there, this should be possible.
General Healthy Lifestyle
In addition to eating well, you will want to encourage a generally healthy lifestyle. If your child is into sports and activities, that can be a help. Also, all of us need to look after our mental health and this is especially true of college students. Make sure they know there is no stigma to speaking out if they are struggling in this way.
How To Deal With Others
Encourage your child to be good at socializing, but cautious at the same time. Nurturing good interpersonal skills will help them in all aspects of life from personal relationships to entering the professional working world. Always set a good example and help and encourage in any way with this.
College Life may be challenging at first. Your child will have to learn the campus layout and how to function without mom at their beck and call. At the same time, college is fun. When kids are prepared for college life, it can help things run more smoothly.
And, let’s be real, they will miss us almost as much as we miss them.