How to help your child prepare for college?
Getting ready to attend college is one of the most exciting, yet stressful times in a person’s life. If you have a child who is getting ready to enter their college years there are many things you can do in order to help them make a seamless and smooth transition. Following are ten ways you can help your child prepare for college.
Start preparing early
Start helping them get ready for college while they are in their junior year of high school. This includes mental preparations as well. They won’t have their parent or guardian to be there to help them stay on track and tend to their needs every day. College is a time of huge changes, so help them start mentally preparing for the new experiences and challenges they will face during this time in their lives.
Don’t pile on the pressure
Teenagers are already under enough pressure when it comes time to choose a college. Do not put unnecessary pressure on them to attend a college of your choosing. Let them explore their options and offer them guidance along the way in terms of tuition cost and whether their chosen campus will help lead them to the career path they would like to pursue.
Teach them how to cook
This may not seem obvious at first, but your child is not going to want to eat cafeteria food every day on campus. If they plan to live in student housing they will likely have access to a small kitchen. Teach them a few basic recipes that can help carry them through their busy school week. Recipes like baked chicken, ham and cheese omelets, and spaghetti marinara are all quick, easy, and inexpensive meals that can help fuel your student throughout their day.
Explore campus with them
Take a few days off work and walk around campus with them. Try to go during regular weekday hours in order to get a feel for the student life and amenities available to them during their school day. This gives the both of you a wonderful opportunity to explore at your own pace and visit the student aid office or new student registrar if any questions arise during your visit.
Have the difficult conversations
College is a wonderful time for young adults to discover who they really are, but it can be a challenging time as well. Make sure to have those difficult conversations and let them know you are always a phone call away no matter the circumstances they find themselves in.
Remind them of upcoming deadlines
Keep a dedicated calendar of all their upcoming deadlines for registration, financial aid, and other important dates. These deadlines can sneak up on you and can be challenging to remedy if you miss them. So stay aware of them as you and your child prepare for college.
Teach them about their financial aid options
Over three billion dollars worth of grant money went unclaimed by qualified students in 2021. Help your student avoid this costly mistake by searching for grants, scholarships, and other student aid opportunities they can use in order to avoid taking out more student loans than necessary.
Get professional help
Preparing for college can be overwhelming, even for the savviest parents. Consider setting up an appointment with someone who can guide you through this process or even read a college parent’s guide to get more information. These professionals offer services that can support you with the right guidance and advice so you can support your college-bound child better.
Discuss the importance of managing time
While there is ample time for socializing while away at campus, their academics should be their top priority. Discuss with your child the importance of dedicating enough time to be successful in their courses, so that they can socialize and have fun without stressing about their upcoming deadlines.
Encourage them to get involved
Help your child identify extracurricular activities that match their interests in order to help them branch out and make friends. Most campuses have a wide variety of student interest groups, clubs, and other activities to help your child feel more comfortable and make new friends.
Helping your student make that transition to college can be stressful, but also extremely exciting. By keeping these tips in mind your child is sure to have a successful and fun-filled first year on campus.