The life of a college student can be overwhelming for the unprepared. The increased workload coupled with the freedom to choose what to do with their time can be a dangerous combination that leads students down a dark path if they are not prepared for it. Most new college students get lost in the maelstrom of new experiences surrounding them. Before sending your child off to college, consider doing these things first:
Let Them Know What to Expect
If you’ve gone through college yourself, then you already know what you should and shouldn’t have done. College is a cornucopia of cultures and knowledge that can be quite a shock for someone who is going in without a heads up. It is a place where your child will be exposed to all sorts of people and learn a myriad of things. But how can you guarantee that your child will focus on their studies while in such an environment?
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of that happening. The best that you can do would be to tell them what they can expect going into college and give them an idea of what will happen. Most people are under the impression that college life should is geared towards studying most of the time. In actuality, students can take the opportunity to learn other skills that interests them and improve or build new relationships with other people. These factors are just as important as learning the technicalities of the course they chose to specialize in.
Figuring Out What They Want
Choosing a course for college is one of the biggest decisions a student will ever make. And as is with most big decisions, it needs to be pondered upon. Choosing a course usually depends on interests, current skill sets, or opportunities in different industries. Help your child go through these factors before coming to a decision.
Whether they will live on-campus or stay at home, teaching your child skills for independence is crucial at this stage. You can start by slowly withholding the luxuries that you provide. Doing this can give them the realization of just how much they rely on their parents for things. Afterward, they will understand more clearly once you explain why they have to do some things for themselves from now on.
Doing chores such as laundry and cooking may seem inconsequential and petty. However, these skills are what new college students often struggle with. Knowing how to cook meals using cheap ingredients can be a lifesaver for students. It’s an effective way to save money and stay healthy throughout the grueling years of college. Knowing how to do chores such as laundry, dusting, and mopping can also help them avoid living in unsanitary conditions.
Open them up to the prospect of getting a part-time job. Committing to a job as a student can prove to be a great undertaking, but this will benefit them. Getting a job while doing college can teach them the lesson of hard work and the value of money. They will learn how to budget the money they earned and recognize what they should and should not buy. Such skills are important when they set off into the real world.
As mentioned earlier, college is a place filled with opportunities. However, there are also many sources of distraction. At this time, students will experience the freedom to choose how they want to spend their time. Instead of telling your child to focus solely on studying, teach them how to manage their time efficiently. Educate them on how to split their time between friends, studies, and other activities. Again, socializing and expanding their skillsets are valuable experiences your child needs to go through to be a well-balanced adult in the future.
Let Them Get a Driver’s License
Knowing how to drive has many benefits, especially when the campus is quite some distance away from your home. Driving a car is more convenient and is a safer alternative when a student is late into the night to finish schoolwork. To start, have them take a drug and alcohol test and continue from there.
The suggestions mentioned in this article are invaluable, yet optional, measures that you can take before you send your child off to college. These suggestions are made with the intent of making sure you cover all bases and prepare your child to the best of your abilities. Ultimately, putting your trust in your child is the best support and preparation you can give them.