Within the next month many parents will face the tough task of preparing their teen for dorm life for the very first time. For the majority of students the concept of a home away from home can be overwhelming and a little bit frightening.
Here are some tips to help guide you and your teen through this exciting and trying period:
Emotional Impact…Your kid may appear confident and eager to leave home, but the truth is this can be a difficult transition for both of you. Getting to know the school before classes begin is a great idea! The more you know, the more you will feel a part of his/her life. Plan a trip to see the campus if possible, an online virtual tour is a great alternative if you can’t visit.
On-campus housing can fill quickly; hopefully the room reservation was sent in as soon as your teen was accepted!! Also encourage them to reach out to their new roommate ahead of time. Facebook is a great way to connect and to get to know the person before moving day. Get to know their likes/dislikes, hobbies, about their family, etc. It’s also a way to organize who is bringing what supplies and furniture so they don’t end up with duplicates.
Small things can be done ahead of time to help kids adjust to their new state of independence. Sit down and talk to your student about the expenses involved and help establish a budget that will work for everyone! Sometimes pre-college programs are available and will provide them with a “small dose” of college life. Talk about the great opportunities ahead and don’t dwell on challenges. There will be good days and bad days! The first semester is usually the hardest! Communicate regularly, but not too much. Be open to communication, but let them initiate it. During these calls, pay attention to the names of classmates and professors, remember the course names and other information he/she shares with you.
Parents will also need to discover ways to handle their own separation anxieties! This is a great time to find a new hobby or activity and develop new routines. If Friday was always family night, find something else to do; get together with friends or enjoy a date night with your significant other.
A little preparation, good communication, and a little bit of confidence can make the college experience a memorable one for all of you!
|⎕||Laptop / Printer / Ink||⎕||Clorox Wipes / Swiffer|
|⎕||Sheets/Blankets / Comforter||⎕||Desk Lamp|
|⎕||Backpack / Messenger Bag||⎕||Mirror|
|⎕||Laundry Detergent / Bag / Quarters||⎕||Alarm Clock|
|⎕||Small Fridge / Microwave (if allowed)||⎕||First Aid Kit / Other necessary medicines|
|⎕||Power Strip||⎕||Storage bins|
|⎕||Shower Caddy||⎕||A little piece of home (pics, etc.)|
|⎕||Flip Flops! A must for walking back & forth to the shower||⎕||Car Accessories – gas credit card and AAA card are highly recommended!|
|⎕||Academic Supplies||⎕||Room Freshener!!|
|⎕||Small Fan / Space Heater (if allowed)||⎕||Snacks|
Do you have a child heading into Kindergarten? Read our blog post on Avoiding Kindergarten Jitters.