Preparing for Your Child to Head to College

Summer is quickly coming to an end, and that means school will be starting again soon. For some parents, that means sending a child away to college.

a couple of people that are standing in front of a building

It can be both liberating and heartbreaking to watch your child pack up their belongings and head away to school. You celebrate their independence, but you’ll miss seeing them every day. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prepare your child to enjoy life away from home and succeed at school — which will give you more peace of mind as well.

Here’s what you need to know!

Help Your Student Plan the Move

There’s a lot to think about in transitioning to college, from dorm arrangements to what to bring to campus and how to find classes. It’s overwhelming for adults and even more so for newly graduated teens!

Helping your student work through all the arrangements needed for them to pack, travel, and move in at college will help your teen avoid getting overwhelmed while also giving you peace of mind that important details haven’t been forgotten.

Decide If Your Teen Will Take a Car to School

The next thing to consider is whether your student will take a car to college. Cars can be very helpful to get around school and might be essential if living off campus. On the other hand, many first-year students living in the dorms do fine without one.

If they are taking a car, ensure that the registration and insurance get updated based on the new location during the school year. If you’re concerned about cost, shop around to get a better rate before school starts. For example, Freeway Insurance is known for helping customers find affordable car insurance, even young drivers that normally pay high rates.

You’ll also want to talk to your teen about the responsibilities of having a car at school. Help them understand how to park safely, stay alert, and drive responsibly. Knowing that your student is well-prepared will help you feel better too.

Make a Schedule to Stay Connected

Finally, talk to your teen before they leave about staying in touch. While you may not expect to talk to them every day, setting up a schedule of when they’ll check in can be helpful. That avoids mismatched expectations that can lead to hurt feelings.

Of course, your student should also know that they can call anytime if they need to. Let them know it’s common for it to take a while before they feel comfortable at school, and there’s nothing wrong with missing home. Make sure they know how to connect with tutoring, counseling, and other support on campus.

With a plan for staying in touch, you and your teen will feel better about your relationship while they are at college.

Enjoy Your Student’s Next Step

While seeing your child leave the nest is bittersweet, it’s also a reason for pride. Give yourself credit for raising a young adult that’s ready to take the first steps of full independence in college.

Great job — and enjoy this next phase in life!

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