7 Tips For Sending Your Kids To College
It’s one of the scariest days for any parent. It seems just yesterday you were holding them in your arms at the hospital, but soon – very soon – they’ll be entering the scary world of adulthood. High school graduation has come and gone and now they must prepare for the real world.
That said, they still need guidance and there’s no one better suited than you to help them on their path towards college.
Don’t Spend It All In One Place
One of the hardest aspects of adulthood is knowing when and how to spend and save money. Teach your child to budget and how to maintain a checking account. The debit card, in all of its conveniences, may be too convenient. Sometimes watching that all mighty dollar slip through your fingers has far more impact. This “cash training” of sorts, may allow them to see the full picture. If they play their cards right, they won’t face the doldrums of creative ramen recipes so many college students bear.
Learn The Lay of The Land
As a college freshmen, there has got to be nothing worse than showing up late on the first day of class. Campus tours are a great way to get an introduction to the basics of campus. If their school offers it, encourage an overnight visit. Typically, they are paired with an older student who can show them around a bit more. The best places to eat and the cleanest bathrooms can be just as important as knowing where your classes are. Encourage them to do a “dry run” and find out where everything is beforehand. Be prepared and be punctual.
Decorating On A Dime
The key to beautifying their fancy new pad is creativity and function. Thrift store finds and a little elbow grease can go a long way. Help them find durable pieces that can serve dual purposes – like a storage ottoman. Decals and simple washi tape can brighten up the boring white walls and can make for a great conversation starter. Keep in mind, many dorms have rules about what can and cannot be brought so make sure you’re not in violation.
No doubt, you’ll want to keep in touch while your child’s away. Gadgets are often the biggest expense as we send our loved ones out on their own. Do your research and look for items that they’ll need and not just want. Laptops are a necessity these days but an iPod isn’t quite as important. Many electronic and software companies offer discounts for students so make sure you’re getting the best price.
Whether your college student is living in dorms or in an apartment with friends, it is important for them to have renters insurance since it will protect their belongings–including those fancy new gadgets they will be bringing with them. At this point, insurance may be just as much about providing you with some peace of mind.
Get Them Involved
College isn’t just a learning facility. It’s a social space. No one is saying you should send them to the weekend kegger. Encourage your child to join study groups and interest clubs so that they get the full experience. Some of their strongest friendships will be formed with people who share their passions. Make sure they’re not cooped up in their bedroom all of the time.
Take A Trip
Transitioning into adulthood is something to be celebrated. This may be the last time they see some of their friends before they go their separate ways, so encourage a small road trip. These memories will be with them for a lifetime.
It’s never easy to let go of childhood, but eventually it has to be done. As parents, all we can do is make sure we present our blossoming kids with the best options for the future and show them we are there to help them along the way.
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