Transitioning from high school to college can be exciting, but daunting all at the same time. For one thing, you are moving from the comfort of your parent or guardian’s home to a shared dorm or living arrangement. Not only is the comfort gone, but you also have to learn how to live independently. This usually means having to make your own money, devise your own schedule and live without the guidance of your parents or guardian. If you are the guardian or parent of a teenager that is about to go off to college, there are a number of things you can do to get him or her prepared. This is a delicate transition rife with multiple, and sometimes contradictory emotions for both you and your teen, so it is wise to prepare for this adventure together.
Share your own college stories.
One of the best ways to get your teen prepared for college is to offer your own wisdom. If you have gone through college and made the transition, your wisdom will be worth its weight in gold. You can offer advice, but the best way to impart wisdom is to simply tell stories. Plus, it will be more interesting that way.
Give a lesson on safety.
Of course, safety is a huge concern in college. Many young students don’t know some of the dangers that may be lurking. For instance, you want to talk to your teenager about not walking home alone after a party. Also, you want to teach your teenager to ask who is at the door before opening it. Many home invasions occur because the person answering the door opens without asking. It is also critical to have a talk about alcohol consumption and the dangers of drinking and driving.
Visit the college with your teen.
Another way to prepare your teen is to scope out the college. Before you take your teen to college for the first time, you may want to drive to the campus and walk around. You can even visit the dorms. It is critical for your teen to get a sense of what life is like as a college student. You may even be able to arrange for an experienced student to take your teenager on a tour.
Stock up on the necessary supplies.
Right before you take your teenager to college, you want to stock up on all the necessary supplies, like toiletries, cleaning materials and tools, and more. If your teenager is taking one of USF’s MPA programs, you better stock up on lots of pens and pencils. Also, you want to get your teenager all the critical things he or she will need to succeed in college. The last thing you want is to drop your teenager off empty handed.
Give a lesson on money management.
Lastly, but certainly not least, you want to give your teenager a lesson on how to manage his or her money. It is important that your teenager knows how to stretch a small budget. This will really be the first time that your teenager has had directly manage his or her expenses and take control of personal finances, so it is important that he or she is ready.