Although college is known to be the best time of someone’s life, there is a lot of preparation that happens before move-in day. Many parents have questions about how and what they should be preparing their teen for and what are some good questions to ask. Below will discuss main topics that parents should focus on before sending their teen off to college!
Most all universities offer meal plans for their dining hall. It is still wouldn’t be a bad idea to teach your teen how to cook a few things. Some dining halls have limited hours and do not always offer the foods your teen may like.
Ramen noodles seem to be a hit with college kids and are very simple to make! Teach them the basic foods they could make from breakfast, lunch to dinner. If your teen has any allergies or a specific diet, cooking will come in handy! It is important that they learn how to cook their own specific meals if the dining all cannot provide it for them.
Surprisingly, many teens do not know how to do their own laundry! Mom and dad are unable to do their laundry for them every week while at college. It is very important to teach your teen how to do laundry before they are off to college.
A few months before they have to move into their new home, start teaching them to do their laundry on their own. Familiarize them with the process for a little while before they are expected to do it every week.
It is no secret that a college education is expensive. It is so important to have a conversation with your teen about what you can afford. You do not want your teen to have large amounts of student debt right after they graduate.
It is a must to contact the universities Financial Aid office. Typically, their contact information can be found on the universities website. They will help you with anything from scholarship money to filling out the FASFA correctly. It is always good to talk numbers before allowing your teen to choose a university that your family cannot afford.
A tip for all parents is to not be the helicopter parent. Your teen is growing up and can now make some decisions on their own. For example, if you and your teen are on a college visit, allow them to ask questions that they want to ask. Try not to take over the tour with questions of your own. This does not mean you cannot ask any questions, but make sure your teen has time to ask the questions they wish to ask.
For another example, let’s say your teen has already decided on a school and has moved in. Give them some time to get adjusted. Try not to call 5 times a day to make sure they are okay. A couple of phone calls throughout the week will be enough. Allow them to get used to the new atmosphere and the ability to make new friends!
After all of the prepping and college visits comes the decision making process. Allow your teen to have some say in the process. As a parent, it is your job to help narrow down all of the college options. The best way to do this would be to make a pro’s and con’s list of all colleges that you and your teen have visited or are interested in. It can be slightly overwhelming for an 18-year-old to make a decision that will jump start their future.
It is important to talk with your teen about the following:
- What they are looking for in a university
- What their interests are
- What you as a parent can afford
- What they would like to major in
- How far away they want to be from home
It is good to break these conversations up, so that your teen does not feel overwhelmed in the process of choosing a university without all of the information needed.