When the time comes that your kid is heading off to college, it’s highly likely that you’re going to be filled with mixed emotions. One minute they were starting kindergarten, and the next they’re on their way to a new city, living with fellow students and starting the first day of the rest of their lives. It can be scary for the both of you. So, you need to stick together to be able to help the both of you get through it with ease.
Because getting ready for your first semester at college can be a lot of fun. There are lots of different things that you need to cover off as a team to make sure that they’re ready to go and that you’re ready to let them. From the stuff you need to do to prepare paperwork wise, to the things you need to buy, here’s your checklist for helping your teen get ready for their first year at college.
Teach Them Life Skills
As a parent, we all know that our main job is to get our kids ready for life on their own. Even though it’s only natural instinct to want to do everything for them, you have to help them to be able to do things for themselves. You may have already covered this one off, but if not, you should aim to teach them important life skills like doing laundry and cooking meals before they leave. It will help them to adjust to their new independent lifestyle.
Buy Room Supplies
You’re also going to want to pick up some supplies for them before they go. Because this year, not only do they need their usual back to school bits, but they need everything for their college dorm too. So shop around and look out for discounts on sites like DontPayFull.com to help you both stock up. They need everything from washcloths to desk accessories, so be sure to write the list and start shopping fast.
Sort Their Paperwork
You may also find that they have some other bits to sort out too. College kids can often need different insurances like contents cover or health care that you may want to think about. You may also want to ensure that they’re able to renew their license if they’re moving to a new state too, as well as register with a local doctor if they don’t have something suitable on campus.
Prepare Their Studies
This is something that they’re going to need to do, but they should also be ready for their first day of class. They may not know what courses they’re going to take, but if they have a rough idea, they could get a head-start on any pre-required reading that has been set. Be sure that they look out in the syllabus or check their college email before the first day, just to make sure.
Prepare Their Finances
You should also aim to get them ready for college financially too. When they first go out on their own, they may struggle to get their head around being in charge of their own money. This post on Mnn.com has some great ideas for personal finance skill building. So make sure that your teen is prepared to track their spending and save as much money as they can as a college kid.
Get To Know The Area
This is something you can do now, or when they first move to college, but it’s important that they can get to know the area. Whether you take a day trip out before they move, or make a point of doing in on their first say, you should encourage them to get to know their new area so they can feel more at home.
Encourage Them To Make Friends
You should also look to encourage them to make friends. Some kids will find this easier than others, but it should be simple for even shy teens as every other kid is in the same place. So encourage them to socialize in the dorms, join different clubs, speak up in classes and even get a part time job to help their social life too.
Give Them Space
Finally, this last point is just for you. As much as you may want to hold their hand through this, you’re going to need to give them some space. It’s important for them to adjust and get to their new life when they first leave, and they can only do that alone. So give them some room and let them go. It’ll be a good move for them, and with all of the preparation you’ve put in, you should finally feel like they’re ready too.