How To Prepare Your Teen For College

    Posted August 19, 2021, 3:25 pm by Monica Reynoso

    After years of your child spending countless hours studying for exams, SATs, and writing up college admission essays, they have finally been accepted to a 4-year university.

    The National Center for Education Statistics reported that “In fall 2019, the 11.0 million students enrolled in 4-year institutions.” As the numbers increase for U.S. students and international students attending four-year universities, so do the uncertainties that come with parents transitioning their students into college.

    Before the first semester of college starts in the fall, students are to already have solidified their place of residence, purchase their books for classes, and have an understanding of what classes need to be taken for their major.

    Is your student ready for college? Find out how you can help your college-bound student prepare and succeed for their four-year university experience.

    1. Educate Your Student on Finances

    Most of the time, students who begin college, have only had experience handling money from their allowance. It can be easy for a new high-school graduate to throw caution to the wind and spend money without taking a step back. Parents need to teach their students how to budget and categorize their expenses. Before sending your young adult to school, teach them how to set up a bank account. After, teach them what expenses to prioritize and how much money they should put in each category. Categories for budgeting and spending can include going-out money, groceries, school supplies, and laundry. If your college student has received their first credit card, make sure they keep track of bill due dates and have a basic understanding of interest rates.

    2. Students Should Learn How to Prepare Quick, Easy Dishes

    Eating out can not only be costly, but it can also be unhealthy. On the other end of the spectrum, if your child is constantly eating instant noodles, although they may be saving money, their health could be the ultimate price they could be paying. Teaching your child to adopt a well-balanced diet can aid them physically and mentally. When educating your child on how to cook quick, healthy meals, start with substitutes. For example, instead of eating instant noodles that contain a large amount of sodium, teach your young adult to substitute that for pasta with different types of seasoning.

    3. Secure a Place to Live For Your Student

    Over the years, on-campus housing has become increasingly expensive. To top it off, a majority of universities expect that you buy a meal plan to accompany the dorm-housing as well. Having your student live off-campus can be cost-effective. Renting an apartment with other students can provide them with a dorm-like experience. Students who live off-campus will also learn the skills they need to corporate with others. Shared responsibilities such as cleaning the kitchen, buying the toilet paper, or speaking to the landlord about a leak in the ceiling, will help your young adult mature and gain the life skills they will need outside of college.

    4. Introduce Them to Public Transportation

    First-year students, usually do not have access to a car. Many college-bound students choose to live out of state and do not bring a car with them from home. When introduced to the public transportation system, college-bound students will be more aware of their college town and rely on themselves rather than others who have a vehicle. Another advantage of utilizing public transportation is that it is cheaper than having a vehicle. Parking on-campus can be expensive. Affordable Schools stated that “parking costs can be anywhere from $40 up to $2,500 per semester, depending on where the school is located.”

    5. Stay Connected

    One of the most important actions you can take as a parent is to stay connected to your college-bound student. Just because they are attending a school far away does not mean that communication with each other needs to come to a complete halt. In fact, the older your young adult becomes, the more they may need your advice. If your young adult feels the need to, block out some time out of your day to routinely speak to them. Remember, at times, no news is good news. They may be finally having the healthy and happy college experience you had always wanted for them.

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    Monica Reynoso

    Monica Reynoso has obtained her bachelor of arts in mass communications. She is passionate about spreading awareness about educational topics that aid teachers, students, and parents in preparing their children for a higher education. Ms. Reynoso believes that every student should have access to the knowledge they need to succeed in a classroom.

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