Sending your student off to college can be both exciting and unnerving. Exciting because your child is about to experience a rite of passage into adulthood where they will develop into the adult, person, and professional are going to be. It’s also unnerving because for many, it’s the first time away from home and/or making adult decisions that potentially have long-term consequences.
Whether your child is living at home and commuting to classes or on campus . . . . attending college locally or long distance . . . you want to feel confident that they will comfortably and knowledgably take care of themselves. You also want to feel comfortable staying at arm’s length while they do that. College ready parents are both.
College is where you student dips their toes in the pond of adulthood and for many students, it’s where they begin stretching their wings and building their decision-making muscles. How do you whether they (and you) are ready for all that independence? Are y’all college ready? Here are a few things small things that will make a big difference when they get to campus:
Wake themselves up. Whether they’re at home or not, your student’s ability to wake themselves up could be the difference between admission to a class or not. (You wake yourself up for your job, why shouldn’t they?)
Manage their own schedule. It’s perfectly understandable if your student needs a ride. If you’re constantly reminding them of appointments and due dates, let’s get them to stretch that muscle. (You won’t be there to remind them of every appointment and project/paper due date, nor should you.)
Doing their laundry. While some students do take enough clothes to school to last until the next break, many don’t. Basic laundry skills are necessary to keep things running smoothly. (No one want to run out of underwear the morning of a big exam. One more thing to distract them.)
Completing their own paperwork. Some turnarounds are too quick to get your help.
Resolving issues with coaches and teachers.
While this isn’t as academic in nature, these are small, yet important ways in which your student can take care of themselves. When they get to college, so many things will hinge on their ability to do these things. Being college ready isn’t just for them. It’s for you, too. Your student taking care of themselves gives you peace of mind. If your high school senior isn’t already doing this, there’s no time like the present. Encourage them to be responsible for these tasks. Get them (and you) college ready.
Habits don't stick on their own. Practice and routine do that. You can reinforce while they're home to make it easier when they’re on their own. Let’s get it!