How to Prepare Your Child for College

Heading off to college is a monumental step in any young person’s life. However, relatively few leave for university possessing all of the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. The good news is, students can and do learn valuable life lessons while at college. On the flip side though, parents can help their kids avoid a few major growing pains by prepping them beforehand. Here are four tips to keep in mind in that regard:

Build Good Study Habits

Most freshmen don’t know exactly what they want to study when they arrive at college. In fact, many will eventually switch majors at some point in their collegiate career. Parents need not fret over their child’s indecision, but rather, should encourage them to form good study habits regardless. Learning how to stay on top of a workload and avoid procrastination will serve them well no matter their eventual area of expertise. Investing in your child’s education means more than just spending money –– it also requires spending quality time with them and hitting the books together!

Apply for a “Practice” Credit Card

For many college students, moving into a dorm is their first opportunity to live on their own. Unfortunately, that means a good deal of young people won’t understand basic financial principles or how to set a budget. Devote some time to explain the ins and outs of the banking system and consider getting your child a “practice” credit card they can use to develop smart financial practices before they go to college. 

Teach them to Recognize Danger 

Parents will naturally feel a bit nervous when their child first moves out of the house. One way to alleviate those concerns is to teach young people how to recognize and deal with potentially dangerous situations. Warn them about common health risks that college students face such as drug/alcohol abuse, car accidents, and STDs. (For more information on how to have frank conversations about sexual wellness, visit Same Day STD Testing.)

Take the Pressure Off

College is an exciting experience, but it can quickly devolve into a stressful one as well. Parents should work to support and relax their children and resist the urge to heap extra pressure on their kids. Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s important for parents to let their children know it’s okay to mess up from time to time. Feeling overworked and stressed out can derail even the most dedicated college students –– so don’t freak out if your kid needs a break now and again. Remember, a failed test isn’t the end of the world!