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  • Writer's pictureSarah VanderMeiden

Getting Ready for College

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

Are you helping your student get ready for college? No doubt you have been spending a lot of time (and money) getting ready. And “getting ready” for college, if the ads in Sunday’s paper are any indication, equals buying stuff. A lot of stuff.

Though no doubt your college-bound student needs some items to make their stay at school more comfortable and convenient, what other steps might you take to help them (and you) get ready for college and have a successful college experience?

Having a son or daughter move to college or even live at home while attending college is a huge transition for both students and their parents. Obviously there are going to be many changes in your home life and relationship. But what exactly are those changes going to be and are you and your student on the same page with expectations about these changes? Rather than making assumptions about what is going to happen, consider the following topics for discussion:

  1. Communication: How will you communicate with your son or daughter when they are away at school - and how often? Who initiates the communication?

  2. Visits: How often will your student be home and how often will you visit them at school? When is Parent/Family weekend and would they like you to attend? What will visits at home consist of? Time with family, friends, church, laundry, sleeping? What expectations will your college student be living under while visiting at home - the ones they used to have at home or expectations that are closer to the independence they will have at college?

  3. Space: While we are on the topic of visits home, what will be happening with your student’s room? Will it be the same when they return for Thanksgiving or will it have been converted to a craft room or Man Cave?

  4. Values: If your family participates in religious or other social organizations, will your son or daughter continue in these traditions at college? What about when they are at home? Keep in mind that one aspect of college student development involves encountering new ways of looking at and understanding the world while examining one’s current identity and value structure.

Though these conversations may be at times awkward or challenging, they will go a long way into preventing future misunderstandings and hurt feelings as well as setting up your student for success in college. Learn more about how to help your college student find success with my Free Webinars or on

What other topics will your be discussing with your college-bound student? Share in the comments below!

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