Heading off to college is a big moment for any young person. After all, attending a university is about more than just taking new courses; for many, it represents their first taste of adult life and freedom from their parents. Understandably, parents themselves may feel a good deal of anxiety about this moment too. No matter how dedicated they are, parents simply can’t monitor their kid’s activities when they’re hundreds of miles away at college. Instead of trying to micromanage your child’s life remotely, it’s better to focus on preparing them for the realities of college life now, before they leave. Today, we’ll explain five helpful tips that will make sending your child to college a lot less stressful and nerve-wracking:
Pick the Right School
No two colleges are the same, and as a result, no two college experiences are identical either. Parents should encourage their kids to explore all of their options when it comes to applying for college. It’s important that a student finds a school where they can feel comfortable. Size, campus make-up, location, and reputation should all play a part in the decision. Making time to visit as many of these schools in person as possible may seem like a hassle now, but it could save you and your kid a lot of trouble down the line.
Take the Pressure Off
For many young people, college is the first time they feel genuine stress or worry. Classes become more difficult, they’re expected to handle more responsibilities, and the pressure to meet new people is increased tenfold. Parents, therefore, should attempt to ease that strain whenever they can, rather than adding to it. Look for ways to support your child through well-intentioned advice –– or on a more basic level –– with care packages that include gift cards or snacks from home.
Cover Some Basic Skills
Before your child leaves for college, there are some things they just have to know. It may not be glamorous, but showing your child how to do basic things like fix a leaky faucet or change a tire can help them get out of a bind later on. Remember, you won’t be around to help them out all the time!
Prep for Emergencies
The health of your child is more important than anything else. Though it might not seem necessary, it’s nevertheless a good idea to educate your child on some basic health and wellness best practices –– lest they find themselves in a threatening situation. Everything from signing them up for a CPR class to highlighting the nearest STD testing center to their campus may help them in an urgent situation one day. Of course, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
For better or worse, college is about trying new things. Unfortunately, this means your child may end up making some mistakes along the way. It’s possible you won’t like who they choose to date, or what they elect to study. The key is to be patient and supportive. Fighting with your college-aged kid isn’t likely to produce good results. Rather, occasionally you have to let your son or daughter learn lessons on their own. Thankfully, everyone will be better off for it in the end for it!
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