How to help your kid get ready for grad school?
You were there for each big step in their life so far. Now your kid wants to continue their studies and apply to grad school. You know you should do whatever you can to make it happen for them, but you don’t really know where to start. Here are some tips on how to help them get ready for grad school.
Don’t push them
Above anything else, it’s important that they’re the ones who decide on whether to go to grad school or not. They need to do it for good reasons, like being able to work in a specific field, or having a lot of passion for a certain subject. Don’t ever make them feel like they have to do it because you expect them to. Talk to them and let them know they have your full support, whatever they decide to do. Also, make sure that they aren’t only considering grad school because they’re unsure of what to do next. It’s too big of a commitment to make for the wrong reasons, especially if you think that they might change their mind along the way.
Help them choose the right program
Once they choose the field of study, they have to find their preferred program. Help them gather information they need for this. They have to know exactly what each program offers them in order to select the one that will give them the exact set of skills and provide them with the education they need to do the work they want once they graduate. They should take into account their own qualifications and long-term goals. Some programs, such as medicine, dentistry, or physiotherapy require special preparations. If your kid wants to major in one of these programs, they will need to take a GAMSAT. Therefore, if your kid needs help with this, it would be a great idea to find them somebody who can properly advise them throughout the admission process and passing these tests. It’s always smart to invest in a good tutor or mentor. Another important factor when choosing a program is the location, so make that a topic of one of your conversations.
Talk about the finances
Money is a very important issue, since grad school won’t be cheap. Yes, you want to help, but wanting to help and being able to do it aren’t always one and the same. Have a family meeting to see where you can save money and what you, as a family, can do to provide your child with the necessary finances. Talk to your parents or siblings and see if they can help in any way. Find out if you can get a loan or sell something you’ve perhaps inherited, but don’t really need. Learn about the cost of tuition for each of the available programs and if there’s any financial aid available to your child. Also, check if there are any ‘work and study’ opportunities they can take or teaching assistant positions they can apply for. Make them aware of what they can expect from you. Tell them exactly how much of the expenses you can cover, so that they know how to proceed.
Make sure they’re prepared for the interview
This means they have to start preparing well in advance and they could probably use your help. While they are doing their best to learn about the school they’re applying to, the questions they may anticipate and what will be expected of them, you can take care of the seemingly little, but extremely important things. Provide them with healthy meals every day, remind them to eat and sleep regularly, talk to them about the importance of relaxing, or simply take a walk with them every day. You want your child to be healthy, physically and mentally, and since you probably know them best, you should come up with creative ways for them to get rid of any stress they might experience. Ask if any of your friends or colleagues know another grad student who can talk to your kid. Hearing about others’ experiences might help them ease their mind a little.
There is probably nothing you wouldn’t do for your kid, so helping them with grad school preparations won’t be a bother. The main thing is that you’re there for them to lean on when it gets tough. That’s what family is for, anyway.