The teenage years are a complex period of transition in anyone’s life. Here are 5 ways to prepare your teenager for college!
Not only are we getting to know ourselves during this time and dealing with an influx of hormones and bodily changes, but we’re also preparing for the next stage of our lives, and the challenges adulthood has to bring.
For many teenagers, one of the biggest challenges they’ll face is moving from standard schooling to college life.
After all, college can be a completely different world than living at home and going to high school.
There are new social circles to navigate, new study challenges to overcome, and a host of new experiences to discover. As a parent, you’ll want to ensure your child has everything they need to thrive during college and enjoy their experience of further education.
While you might not be able to tackle all the challenges of getting a degree on their behalf, there are ways you can help them prepare for the next stage in their life. Here are just some of our top tips.
Create a College Plan Together
Even if your teenager has a few years left of high school before they’re ready to launch into their college education, it’s worth planning as early as possible.
Talk to your child regularly about their academic and career goals, so you can come up with a strategy for success together.
Planning early will give you an opportunity to look at colleges and universities both close to home and further away, to find the right courses for your youngster.
You might even have a chance to visit these locations in person, so your child can get a feel for what university life is going to be like.
Early planning also means you can do your research into ways of making college life a little easier to manage.
You could invest in tutoring for your child before they start their course or look to scholarships and grants to help make their degree more affordable.
Look for Ways to Help Financially
While college can come with many challenges for a new student to face, the biggest hurdle of all for most youngsters relates to the cost of paying for a degree.
Figuring out how to pay for college means not just exploring loan opportunities for the course itself. Your child will also need to figure out how they’re going to pay for things like study resources, travel, and accommodation.
Unfortunately, most parents simply won’t have the money required to pay for an entire college degree outright.
However, that doesn’t mean they can’t help in other ways. You could look into student loan cosigner requirements to determine whether you can also sign for your student’s loan, and improve their chances of getting a better deal.
Another option could be to work with your child on building a savings account over time. You could both contribute small portions of your available cash to it whenever possible, to ensure your teen has access to extra resources when they first start college.
Teach Them Independent Living Skills
Unless your child is planning on living at home with you when going to college, there’s a good chance they’re going to need to learn how to look after themselves quickly.
Most parents will start teaching their youngsters independent living skills at a relatively early age, but it’s worth doubling down during the teenage years.
Make sure your youngster knows how to manage a budget, and understands the value of money, so they don’t get themselves into debt when managing their available resources.
Teach them how to find ways of cutting costs by living more frugally and taking advantage of discounts whenever possible.
Provide your youngster with the skills they’ll need to feel comfortable and happy when living on their own. They should know how to cook a nutritional meal, do their own laundry, and keep their living space clean.
You could even consider using YouTube videos and online guides to share a few practical skills with your teenager on how to fix appliances and perform DIY tasks.
Encourage Good Study Habits
Even a student who naturally excels in a specific topic will still need to commit to regular studying to ensure they pass their tests and thrive in their education.
It’s worth ensuring your child has great study habits from day one. Teach your child how to organize their schedule so they can make enough time in their day for hobbies and socialization, as well as learning and studying.
Give them tips on how to take notes during lectures, how to divide their study time to avoid becoming overwhelmed and burned out, and how to track the progress of their learning.
You could even encourage your youngster to join study groups to help them make new friends while they’re working on advancing their education. Perhaps above all else, remind your child that it’s important not to overwhelm themselves with too much hard work.
As important as it is to study, your child also needs to know how to look after their mental and physical health too.
Finally, one of the easiest ways to prepare your child for college or university, is to let them know they’ll always have you on their side.
Providing constant support, motivation, and encouragement is crucial, particularly during periods when your youngster might be feeling more stressed.
If you can’t be there to talk with them in person, let them know you’re only a phone call away.
Remind your child that you’re proud of them, regardless of whether they pass every test, or occasionally struggle with their lectures, and let them know they’ll never let you down if they try their best.
It’s also helpful to remind your youngster that it’s okay to seek out help if they feel like they’re struggling. There are plenty of resources available on college campuses today to help students deal with the stress of pursuing a higher education.
While you can’t necessarily guarantee your child will be successful in their studies, you can let them know you’ll always be there for them, whatever happens.
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions leave them down below. Thanks for reading!