Now that school is out, we know our ASA students are enjoying their time off by relaxing, having fun, and hopefully rejuvenating from end of the year exams.  However, those who recently graduated from high school might not be getting much relaxation since college is now looming closer and they are busy with preparations to move into the next phase of life.  If you are a parent of a graduate and are facing the imminent “leaving the nest” with your student, it can be hard to know how to help them prepare for what’s coming (as well as preparing yourself!).

Here are some tips for helping your college-bound kid get ready for school this fall.

  • Make a list, check it twice.  This is especially true if your student is moving any distance away for school.  Living on your own for the first time is hard, even in a dorm situation, and not having the things you need makes life even more difficult as you adjust.  Make a master list of all the items needed for day-to-day existence, from sheets to a toothbrush, and check it off as you purchase items and pack them up.  Don’t forget to throw in a few “fun” items as well, such as a new coffee mug to brighten the mornings before class, or a favorite blanket to remind them of home.
  • Take photos.  If you attend orientation with your student, chances are you will go on a tour of the dormitories, cafeteria, student center(s), etc.  Encourage your student to take photos of each place they will need to remember (or take them yourself) so they can reference them later on and become familiar with the sights to look for around campus. Take photos of the dorm room as well, so you can visualize a setup for the space and help your student plan.  Note: if they will have a roommate, coordinate with him/her to make sure all needs are accounted for.
  • Invest in a good planner and/or calendar.  Having a planner is vital to success in college. Purchase an easy-to-use (and portable) planner for your student to use for assignments, exams, school events, and more.  A desk or wall calendar can also be helpful for quick reference.
  • Skill check.  It’s important when your student leaves for college to have a basic understanding of how to do everyday tasks such as wash a load of laundry, or cook a meal.  Encourage your student to practice these needed skills over the summer before leaving this fall so they’ll be ready when the need arises.  Note: be sure to throw some quarters in with your student’s college supplies!  Most dormitory laundry facilities require payment per load!

We hope these tips help you, and your child feel more confident as the Fall moves closer and college will begin.  Congratulations to the 2017 graduates, and to the parents that brought them this far.  Good luck as you move into this next phase of life!