If your child is one of more than 20 million students entering college next September, you’re going to want the transition to be as smooth as possible and this includes making plans during the months leading up to fall. Some of these plans will include practical preparations such as how to save for your child’s college funds, and others will concentrate more on emotional support to help them with the reality of being on their own for the first time. It’s a goal that both parents and children have to work towards and here’s some advice to help you along the way.
Sitting down with your child and compiling lists over the summer doesn’t have to be a headache if you’re both properly organized and decide on clear objectives together. Break it down into sections: items they will need for their dorm room will include anything from linen to choosing a suitable desk lamp. They will have to know how to do their own laundry, cook meals and use local transport. It’s also a good idea to pick out appropriate subscription boxes which have evolved from more than just choosing weekly food boxes; you can also order them according to your child’s course. For example, choose media, beauty or sports boxes to help your child prepare for their freshman year of college.
Teaching your college child the importance of saving before they move home is a life skill that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Show them how to budget and keep track of their funds, either on a daily or weekly basis. Managing their finances will encompass food bills, books, travel expenses and, if they have any leftover, social life! Before they fly the nest, ensure they understand how to use online banking, an ATM and to pay checks into their accounts. You can also teach them ways to find the best bargains by shopping around, signing up for discount cards to help their cash go further and other money making tips for college students that they might not have heard of.
Leaving home for the first time will be emotional for both of you and this transition should be made as easy as possible so that your child feels secure and comfortable with all these new changes. One of the best ways to do this is to start early. Make sure that your child has a positive outlook to problem solving and dealing with their emotional side so when issues do arise, they are more efficient to deal with them in a balanced and confident way. College can be ripe with stress and psychological troubles to fit in with peer pressures but if they’re taught to stand up and be proud of themselves, it will go a long way to boosting their self-confidence.
Starting college will bring about a number of issues for the new freshman or woman but the key to success is how they overcome these hurdles. Despite the feelings of letting go, as a parent, you can play a key role in ensuring that your child is ready to take on these challenges.