Watching your child go off to college is an exciting moment for parents. However, this transition can often be much more impactful than other transitions that they have encountered in their life so far. As such, it is vital that you provide them with the right tools and preparation to help them thrive in a university setting.
If your child already has their college picked out and is excited to get started, here are some ways you can help them prep for the next step in their educational career.
1. Begin teaching them financial skills that they will carry into adulthood.
In high school, young adults still rely on their parents to meet a great deal of their needs. In college, they are faced with greater responsibility as they are expected to become their own adult and caregiver. For those who are not properly equipped with the right skills, this transition can often be overwhelming, causing them to make choices that cause further issues down the road.
One of the most important skills to focus on as you prep your child for is financial responsibility. One great way to get started is to sit down with them and to look at a resource like ValueColleges, which will allow you and your child to better understand the major factors when it comes to selecting and affording a college. This will provide them with a better understanding of just how much college costs and where their support will come from.
Building from there, you can help them set up a bank account, teach them budgeting, and help them start working towards financial independence. Although you should expect them to have difficulty once they move away, you want to make sure that they are more autonomous in their financial lives to prevent them from dealing with financial hardships as a result of poor financial decisions.
2. Find resources that will prep them for the SAT or ACT.
The SATs and the ACTs are both very important exams that will help colleges better understand your child’s intellectual capabilities and whether or not they are the right fit for the university. There are only a handful of opportunities to take these tests, which means that it is necessary to make sure they are getting the highest score possible during these windows of opportunity.
Fortunately, there are resources available like SAT prep courses that will help them better understand what they will be tested on and will allow them to study more efficiently. If you haven’t already, enroll your child in one of these courses and help them study beforehand.
3. Allow them to take on more responsibility in their own lives.
Adulthood is supposed to mean independence, but it can be difficult for children to blossom into the adults they are looking to be if they have not had the opportunity to gain this experience. Leading up to their college life, it is important that you help them start taking on more responsibility and leading their own life.
This can mean doing things like helping them find a summer job, seeking out internships and volunteer opportunities, and allowing them to get their license and drive themselves places. While growing pains are to be expected, they must be able to start being accountable for their own lives if they are expected to thrive in college.
It is important to remember that college is not only about education but about the next chapter of your child’s life as they become their own person. To help them better prepare for this new stage of life, use the tips provided above to help them prep for college and beyond.