Time is ticking by faster than ever – proms, Senior Week, graduation, and summer will be here before you know it – so your time to prepare your son or daughter for college is short! Feeling a little overwhelmed? Here are some ideas to help you start preparing during the last half of senior year (or earlier if your student isn’t a senior yet!)
You’d be surprised how many college students don’t know, for instance, how to wash their clothes or prepare a home-cooked wholesome meal. Make sure your son or daughter really knows how to…
- Do laundry (do they know about separating loads by color so they don’t turn whites pink?)
- Deposit & withdraw cash from their bank account; balance their checkbook
- Eat healthily (Ramen, macaroni and cheese, and cheese puffs aren’t ideal choices for the food groups!)
- Treat a basic injury
- Organize and pay their bills on time
- Live within a budget
- Comparison shop to save money
- Make a doctor’s appointment (make sure they set up their pre-college checkups!)
- Work safely in a kitchen (For instance, how to use a microwave – don’t microwave metal items or try to hard boil an egg a.k.a. a mini bomb!)
- Be safe at night while out studying, socializing, or going to parties
- Use a credit card without damaging their credit (even if they don’t have one now, many students get one once they move out)
- Travel on a bus, train, and/or plane
Many families have to refresh their emergency plan when a child goes away to school. If your son or daughter is moving away long distance, make sure he or she knows what to do and who to contact in an emergency:
- Who should they call if they can’t get a hold of you?
- Do you have an out-of-state emergency contact in case of a natural disaster that ties up or blocks local phone lines?
- Where is your family meeting point in case you need to find each other in an emergency?
- Who can they call locally if they need help with something? Help them find the numbers of a local doctor and hospital (or the campus health center) in case of illness, and a local friend or family member in case they need help with something else.
On Call Help
No matter how much you try to prepare them, students are going to have questions. They’ll forget what setting to put the washer on, what medications they’re allergic to, and Grandma’s address. So before they head off to school, make it very clear that you’re available if they need help any time, day or night. That sense of security will help them feel more confident as they head out the door to life on their own.
All the best,