The Summer Before College How to Prepare for Your Child’s Freshman Year
Applying to college is one of the most stressful parts of any high schooler’s existence, but the stress of preparing for higher education doesn’t end once your student has chosen where to attend. Preparing them for their first days in a dorm is also an essential part of the process. The summer after graduation and before college is the perfect time to give your student the tools for success in their new environment. For many parents, seeing their child leave home for the first time is a nerve-wracking process. It can lead to frustration and arguments when not handled correctly. As such, here are a few tips and tricks to ensure the transition goes smoothly. Having a child, especially your first child, pursue higher education is often bittersweet. You want your child to be successful, but the thought of thembeing far away fromhome can cause anxiety. It’s completely normal to have these feelings, and you should embrace and reckon with them. However, you shouldn’t make those feelings your chief concern or allow them tomake your child wary of leaving. Nobody wants to be the freshman with the parent who resorted to hysterics onmove-in day. Be prepared to say goodbye and do your best tomaintain some composure because college is, first and foremost, about the student. Remember that it’s not about you.
whole of it. Your child should be ready to live on their own without the security blanket of Mom and Dad. Having life skills will prove just as valuable as study skills during the course of their undergraduate experience. As Maureen Clancy of CNBC’s“KnowYour Value” says,“I taught my daughter some coping skills because sometimes the weight and stress of everything would cause her to have a total meltdown… I showed her that in those times, she needed to get active (exercise, clean, etc.) and get out of her own head, and instead of worrying about passing all her classes for the semester, [she should] focus on that next test and take one day at a time.” Additionally, preparing for the extracurricular aspects of the campus experience involves hard conversations about sensitive issues. No parent is comfortable talking to their 18-year-old about drinking, safe sex, and the like. Regardless of the awkwardness, these discussions are vital for your child tomake safe and responsible decisions while they’re away fromhome. If you asked a teen to shop for their college dorm on their own, they’d likely come home with a million posters, some bed sheets, and not much else. As an experienced adult, you can help your child arrive with all the items they need. A small tool set, some dishware, cleaning supplies, and the rest of the basics will make life a whole lot easier, but they are easy to overlook. Go shopping for supplies.
they need clothes, but they may forget about the value of a spare lightbulb, a few power strips, and an extra charging cable. Having these items on hand will make the first fewweeks a lot easier. As a bonus, shopping for dorm supplies is a wonderful bonding experience.
Make some special memories.
In addition to preparing to launch your child from the nest, the summer before college should be about savoring your time together. Take a trip, share a special meal, or do somethingmeaningful together that will create a lastingmemory for you and your child. Time is of the essence like never before, and you don’t want to regret passing up the chance to share valuable family time in the months and weeks leading up to departure. After your child arrives at their college or university, it’s extremely important tomake them feel supported. Showing appreciation for their hard work will demonstrate how proud you are of them, and knowing they have supportive parents in their corner, nomatter how far away, is hugely beneficial to new college students. Despite the wishes of some parents, you can’t be a fly on the wall during the first semester. Rather than suffering from a serious case of parental FOMO, focus on enjoying time together before you send themoff to the next chapter of their life.
Talk about more than school.
Academics are the foundational element of the college experience, but they are far from the
A good way to devise a list of survival essentials is to look at your own closets. Everybody knows
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