It may only seem like five minutes ago that your child was a baby and dependent on you for their every need, and then in what seems like a mere blink of an eye, they are suddenly preparing to leave home and to go to college.
For many parents, the thought of their child going to college brings a mix of emotions. On the one hand, you will feel proud of their achievements and how hard they have worked to earn their place at college. However, on the other hand, you may feel upset thinking about how life will change and nervous about your child going out into the world and living independently. These are all completely normal emotions, and understandable given the changes that lie ahead. Ultimately, your child going to college is an incredibly positive step. Gaining a college place shows dedication to their studies and a commitment to pursuing their chosen career. Both of which are admirable qualities, and an excellent foundation for future success.
The period between your child finding out that they have successfully secured a college place, and the time that they leave home to take up that place is a crucial period. During this time, you can make sure that your child is adequately prepared for independent living. Your child may only have ever lived with yourself and the rest of the family up until this point. Moving away from home to start college represents a significant change in their life and one that you can help to prepare them for. Preparing your child for living away from home not only benefits them but will give you some added peace of mind too.
If you are a proud parent with a child about to head off to college, these tips should help you to prepare and make this experience a positive one.
Money is a significant consideration when thinking about sending your child to college. A high level of education certainly doesn’t come cheap, so thinking about how your child will cope financially with their new independent life is crucial.
You may want to start by checking to see if your child is entitled to a scholarship to help finance their studies. Different scholarships are awarded based on various criteria. Some scholarships are awarded based on the student requiring funding due to the family’s financial circumstances. Merit-based scholarships are awarded to students that demonstrate outstanding academic or sporting abilities. Scholarships can cover either the entire cost of studies, or pay towards a portion of your child’s college costs, so it is well worth exploring the possibility of a scholarship.
Student loans are also a widely used method for financing a student’s time at college. It is vital to be aware that there are many types of student loans for undergraduate students, so taking time to review the choices of loans to find the one that is most suitable is an important task.
Once you have found the best way for your child to finance their studies, you will need to explain to them how to budget their money to make it go further. For some teenagers, budgeting is second nature. However, if your teen prefers to splurge the cash rather than save it, you may need to give them some pointers on how to budget for their living costs, food, and school supplies.
If you have spent your child’s entire life cooking for them and cleaning up after them, the chances are that they are not going to have much idea how to take care of themselves. Preparing your child to look after themselves is vital to them living independently with success. Equipping them with essential life skills such as being able to cook and clean will make life so much easier for them when they get to college, if nothing else, at least they will be able to feed themselves! Providing your child with some fuss-free easy to make meal recipes is one of the best ways to prepare them for college. Try to include meals that use relatively few ingredients, and costs very little to make, to help them to stick within their budget. Quick and easy meals are also essential to enable your child to whip up something to eat in a hurry between classes.
There is no doubt that your child leaving home and starting college is an emotional experience, but helping them to prepare will ensure that they begin their new journey the right way.