5 Steps to Preparing Your College Freshman

Let them Struggle
During the last year of high school, there will be many high-pressure things happening at once. SAT’s, ACT’s, college applications and essays. Your student will be dealing with a lot of stress and deadlines and it can be tempting to jump in to help them out. This is the time when you can support, but you ultimately need to let them sink or swim. They need to get used to deadlines and completing responsibility without their parent reminding and keeping track of their progress.

Give them Graduated Privilege
As your child gets closer and closer to leaving the house it is a good idea to give them more responsibility and more privilege. For example, if your child has always had a 10 pm curfew and that is in place until the day they leave for college it will be very hard for them to self-regulate. To go from strict rules to no rules is a recipe for excess. If it works for your family try to give them more chance to make good decisions instead of just following your rules, that way when they get to college they are not overwhelmed with freedom.

Understand Finances
Make sure to have frank and frequent conversations about finances. Make sure they are aware of what the expectation is for covering their costs, what you will be contributing and how they should be managing their money. It is also important to talk about taking on debt, whether it is student loans, credit cards or other loans. Make sure your child is aware of interest, repayment and long-term effects of debt.

Encourage Goal Setting
Goals do not only need to be centered around school and grades, talk to your child about what they want to accomplish their first semester at school and set some goals. It could be joining a club, getting a job, exploring their new city or volunteering. Goals are helpful to keep focus when your student is getting into this whole new world of college.

Make Sure they Know the Basics
Make sure your child knows the basics of living on their own. Laundry, paying bills, using the bank, post office and any other day to day skill that is important should be chatted about before they leave. Even though you might think your child knows all of this stuff, there is no harm in double checking.

Getting your student ready for college is stressful and emotional, but if you know they are prepared it becomes a lot easier to send them onto their new adventure.

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