It’s getting to be that time of year again. Now that August is here, everyone’s thoughts are turning back to school.
If “back to school” in your family translates to “moving to college”, no doubt you have been spending a lot of time helping your student prepare for college. And there is so much to do! Shopping, packing, more shopping, more packing....which likely will continue right up until your vehicle pulls out of the driveway and heads toward campus.
But what else do you need to do to help your student prepare for a successful college experience? Have you had some conversations with them to talk about their purpose and goals for college? What about the realities of managing their finances and schedule as well as how to keep themselves healthy and safe at school? Have you taught them how to do their laundry? (You may laugh but the sad truth is that I have encountered more than my fair share of students who have no clue how to wash their clothes!).
Below are some ideas to get you started with College Conversations:
Purpose: Why is your student going to college? What is their purpose? What are their goals, and what vision do they have for college and career success? What steps are they going to take to accomplish their goals? And is all of the above owned by your student….or coming from somewhere else?
Money: Does your student have a budget, and has spending money been included? What does your student know about managing their finances? (Hint: The money left over after student loans have paid the college is not a “refund check” and the long-term consequences of that quick credit card application with the overly-friendly rep at the Student Center may not be worth that gift of an extra-large bag of M and M’s).
Work: Will your student be getting a job and if so, how many hours a week will they be working? How will a job impact their college experience, both academically and socially?
Health and Safety: What is your student's plan for maintaining their health and wellness while at college? How about their plan for keeping themselves safe? Think valuables, walking on campus after dark, parties, etc.
Though these conversations may be at times awkward or challenging, they will go a long way to support your student's efforts to have a successful, rewarding experience in college. Learn more about how to help your college student find success by visiting YourStudentLifeCoach.com.
What other topics will your be discussing with your college-bound student? Share in the comments below!