Sending a child to college for the first time can be extremely stressful for parents. At the same time, sending your child away to school to pursue their dreams and goals can also be one of the proudest moments in your life as a parent. If your child is at the end of their high school career, or freshman year of college is already here, there are things you can do to keep the stress down so that you can focus on the positives of this exciting life stage for your child. For some things to consider before sending your child off to college, read on.
Before you get too concerned about the emotions you and your child might be feeling, it’s important to be sure you have the practical items your child will need for college covered. Technology items like a laptop, computer, cell phone booster, cellphone, printer, and more are all things to consider when determining how you can support your child academically. A cell phone booster is especially helpful to make sure your college student can get a strong cell signal no matter where they are. You’ll have peace of mind knowing they can reach you with enhanced signal strength even in remote areas or rural areas.
Classrooms today are highly technology-driven to help students prepare to lead the next generation of businesspeople, advocates, leaders, and more. For this reason, many schools will offer students a list of the types of technology that will benefit them in their studies. While most campuses offer any tech your child will need in the school library, the ability to study late into the night in the quiet of their dorm room or apartment will help. Other colleges have lists of technology required as part of a class requirement. Be sure to check ahead or send your child with enough money to cover those expenses.
Help With Applications
If your child is just now beginning to look at schools, you’ll want to enlist the help of a college application counselor to help increase their odds of getting into their top choices. A college counselor can help with interview prep, essays, and even highlighting strengths and playing down weaknesses on formal applications. They can also suggest financial aid resources that might help out should your child get into their top school.
Emotional and Financial Supports
As excited as they may appear to be, it’s natural for your child to be nervous about leaving family support they’ve come to depend on. You can show them that support is only a phone call or message away by showing them you believe in them and supporting their decisions as they begin to make them as young adults.
While it’s a good idea to let your children practice decision-making skills before they leave for school, the reality is that your help with finances will make a huge difference in your child’s first-semester experience. Have honest conversations with your child about expectations around spending, budgeting, and who will pay for what long before you drop them off at school. Doing this ahead of time and holding them to mutually agreed-upon rules will give you both a sense of security as your child navigates the world on their own for the first time. Even if your child will be attending a local school, these conversations could go a long way in a successful young adult launch.
No two college students, families, or colleges are exactly the same. Using your instincts can be a great way to support your child as they head off to college. By staying in touch and helping along the way, you’ll give your child better odds of succeeding. Doing what you can to enjoy it now in spite of normal fears and concerns is something that you’ll thank yourself for later. Before your child leaves for school, be honest about how proud you are and how they’ll always have you in their corner. And remember that while letting go is hard, it’s their turn to show the world what they’ve got.