Hello, parents of high school seniors.
It is March 20th. That means if your senior has chosen to go to college, you have 5 months to teach him a thing or two, or five, about what it is going to be like on campus without mom and the team doing the behind the scenes work. I don’t know about your child, but I run into a lot of Gen Y kids who have a lot to learn about taking care of themselves. I also run into a lot of high school seniors who think they know everything.
Laundry – It’s not going to do itself. Take a weekend or two in the next few months to supervise your teen doing his laundry for himself. In that way you can avoid him returning home at Thanksgiving with a huge bag of dirty clothes, suitcases full of faded multi-colored ruined stuff or a big laundry bill.
Shopping for essentials – If you drive your student to school yourself in August, or fly with her, you will probably do this then. A better idea is to do a dry run or two from home before you leave, and the bright lights of Frosh Week are in your teen’s eyes.
Shopping for food – You know that there are many considerations in food shopping, some of which your child hasn’t considered yet. Nutrition, cost, calories – a dorm food plan will take care of some of this but I don’t remember seeing an actual dorm room without some extra food supplies.
The value of money – Even if tuition, room, board and books are taken care of, your teen will have to manage day to day and entertainment expenses. We suggest sitting with your student and putting a budget on paper before she leaves. The sooner she starts thinking about how much everything costs, the better she will be able to deal with budget shortfalls.
How to get help when you need it – Teachers, parents and guidance counselors have banded together to ensure a good high school result for your teen. In college, there is much less help and support available unless a student asks for it. In addition, the early warning system for when a student is failing or falling short is much less robust. You can plan ahead with your child and develop a plan for what to do if results are as strong as expected.
The real list is longer than 5 things, and perhaps much longer depending on the child. At JD College Consulting, we do periodic group programs and individual programs for soon to be freshmen looking to get ahead of the game. Email us for more information.