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Tips Before Sending Your Teen Off to College! 

August 13, 2018

Laundry

Believe it or not, many teens do not know how to do their own laundry! In college, mom and dad are unable to do their laundry for them every week. It is very important to teach your teen how to do laundry before they are off to college.

A month or so before they have to move into their new home, start teaching them to do their laundry on their own. It is important they are familiar with the process for a little while before they are expected to do it every week…or 3.

Cooking

Although all universities offer meal plans for the 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. Cooking will only come in handy if your teen has access to a kitchen. If not, being able to cook will still be helpful for down the road.

Hovering

An important tip for all parents is to not be the helicopter parent. Your teen is growing up and can now make certain decisions on their own. For instance, 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 whole 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.

Now let’s say your teen has already chosen a school and has moved in. Give them some time and freedom to get adjusted. Try not to call 5 times a day to make sure they are okay. If they are starting to miss home, they will be the ones to call first. Be sure to allow them to get used to the new atmosphere and the ability to make new friends!

Financial Aid

It is no secret that higher education is expensive. It is so important to have a conversation with your teen about expenses and what you can afford. You do not want your teen to have large amounts of student debt right after they graduate and get their degree.

It is important 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 he or she cannot afford.

The Decision 

When it comes time for your teen to start thinking about college, allow them to have some freedom in the decision-making 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 and universities 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 their interests are
  • What they would like to major in
  • What they are looking for in a university
  • How far away they want to be from home
  • What you as a parent can afford

It is good to break these conversations up, so that your teen does not feel more pressure to choose a university without all of the information needed to make the right decision.