Preparing for College: Tips for Parents

Parent's Guide to Preparing Your Child for College Life

Parent's Guide to Preparing Your Child for College Life

Are you and your teen preparing for college?

If so, you're far from alone.

In the U.S. in 2017, there were 14.56 million college students enrolled in public colleges, and another 5.1 million enrolled in private colleges. These numbers are expected to rise by 2028—to almost 15 million in public and 5.33 million in private.

Getting your teen ready for college means helping them understand finances, academics, social situations, emotions, and much more. It's not just about the grades—they need to know when to say "no," how to maintain mental and physical health, and they may even need to work. 

Your job as a caring, dedicated parent is to help them understand the obstacles that may arise and how to overcome them. It's also about instilling joy and a sense of well-being and independence. 

And then, it's to let them go.

Because ultimately, once they're away from home, the rest is up to them. You can cheer them on from the sidelines while they're playing the game.

Without further ado, here are some things to consider when getting your teen ready for college!

Encourage Mental and Physical Wellness

Once they're out of the house, it can be easy to let mental and physical health fall by the wayside.

Without you there to encourage extracurricular activities or prepare them a healthy meal, it may be tempting to eat fast food, put working out on the back burner, or let school work take over.

Teach your teen early-on about the importance of getting regular exercise, having a healthy diet, and making supportive friendships. You can also encourage things like journaling, self-care, and the importance of connection and community. 

Talk Finances

Before they head to college, it's important to establish things like a budget and tracking and organizing their finances.

This is especially true if the student is working through college, too. They'll need to start putting bills in their own name, if they haven't already, and regularly analyze their bank account.

Teach your teen where to get great deals, how to find bargains on used items (like those expensive textbooks), and how to navigate owning a credit card.

Run Through Problem-Solving Scenarios

Understanding how to deal with the stressors of college and potential conflict is essential to surviving in a college atmosphere.

Your teen needs to know the importance of their actions, as well as the consequences that come from them. Since they're still developing the part of their brain that controls impulses, this is essential to whether they thrive in college.

Run through different scenarios together and discuss potential solutions or actions. Then, contemplate the results of those actions and what would be best (and why).

This will allow your teen to do what's best for them and their community when confronted with a difficult task.

Preparing for College Doesn't Have to Be Difficult

Your kid won't be the first or the last teen to head to college, and that's great news for both of you. There's a wealth of information out there to help make the transition more seamless.

There will be high times and low times, and as a confident parent, together you can navigate anything! Let them know you're preparing for college as a team.

For more family-related articles like this one, keep scrolling our blog.

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Preparing for College: Tips for Parents