As parents, it’s a proud day when your kids go off to college. As well as their academic development, university offers them an opportunity to meet new people, enjoy exciting experiences, and enrich their lives.
It can also be quite a stressful time for your child. Even though they’re adults, the transition from high school to college involves more than choosing classes; there’s often a big move involved, plus the pressure of managing their finances and starting over without friendships already established.
That’s why it’s so important for college-age kids to have the support of their parents. In this article, we’ll look at five key ways that you can help them out.
Be Involved in the Application Process
Applying for college is a pretty involved procedure. As it’s such an important step of their burgeoning academic career, offer to help your child wherever it’s appropriate. For example, there might be a lot of administration involved in pulling their applications together. Ask them what they need and take on those tasks, leaving your child more time and space to focus on the aspects of applying that need their undivided attention. You’ll also be a helpful source of advice over which course or major they should choose.
Help Them to Pick a Dorm
Make sure to attend all of your child’s visits to prospective colleges, and check out the accommodation while you’re there. When it comes to picking out dorms, help your son or daughter to choose the dorm that offers them the best balance of fun and function. It’s not all about partying, after all!
Travel With Them to Their New Home
The move to college is often an emotional time for the whole family. Your child might not always show it, but they’re going to miss you! The shock of moving away can be dampened simply by going with them as they travel to college. If you’re able to drive there, it also helps on a practical level! But whether they’re moving to the next town or across the country, be by their side.
Offer Financial Support Where You Can
College is expensive. As well as fees and accommodation, your child will need to find the money to purchase books, buy groceries, and pay for extra-curricular activities. Of course, there is an expectation that fending for yourself while away at college presents an opportunity to grow and take on more responsibility, but the reality is that transitioning from the sweet life at home to the conflicting demands of adulthood can be quite the reality check! If you have the means, help your kid out where you can. It’s now easier than ever to simply ping some funds over to their bank account, and they’ll be super grateful for the financial support!
Always be Available by Phone
The most important step is to remind your kid that you’ll always be there for them, even if they’re hundreds or thousands of miles away! Keep the lines of communication open, and maintain an interest in this exciting new chapter of life!
How do you support your child while they’re at college? Let us know in the comments below.