Getting Ready for College: Suggestions for Parents
The summer months between high school and college provide a good opportunity for students and parents to start planning for the many adjustments that college life will bring. It can also be a time for parents to share some of your own concerns and expectations. Focusing on issues such as personal responsibility, safety, and the importance of making healthy choices, can set an important tone as your student prepares for this new college experience.
Here are some helpful suggestions to assist you in this process:
Help Your Student Prepare for Increased Independence:
- Allow your student to wake up in the morning without your assistance.
- Show your student how to do the laundry, if you have been doing it.
- Help your student to learn how to manage money–responsible spending, managing a budget, balancing a checkbook.
- Help your student to take responsibility for planning. Buy a calendar or planner, have your student identify important dates, and get use to managing his/her time on a daily basis.
- Help your student to be nutritionally smart. Discuss healthy vs. unhealthy eating habits.
Share Your Expectations:
- Review your expectations and as they relate to your student’s choices and personal freedoms concerning alcohol and drugs.
- Help your student to be aware of personal safety issues. Discuss the importance of making smart choices, and identify key college safety and security resources. Check out, “Talking To Your Student About Campus Safety”.
- Share your own personal values as they relate to peer pressure, need for independence, and personal responsibility.
- Help your student to have a realistic understanding of finances. Set up a spending plan, and review it from time to time. Discuss use of credit cards and make sure your student understands your limits regarding their use.
Do Your Homework:
- Learn about academic and non-academic college policies. Attend Parent Orientation, explore the College website, and read the Student Handbook. Pay special attention to policies and regulations and the “Code of Student Conduct”.
- Understand policies regarding privacy of student records. Read, “Confidentiality of Student Records: A Guide for Parents”.
- Know about campus resources, and be able to identify key services on campus.