Five Steps to Prepare Your Senior for College - Starting Now

In six short months high school seniors will be starting college and navigating life with their parents in the distance. Amy Jasper, Educational Consultant with My College Fit LLC, offers these tips for parents to prepare teens for their upcoming independence and to meet success as college freshmen.

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Although moms or dads may only be a phone call away, that isn't always the best first line of defense for a young adult who is beginning to spread their wings.

Richmond, VA (PRWEB) March 11, 2014

It’s probably hard to believe that in six short months, you will be moving your high school senior out of the house and into their college digs. Perhaps even more startling, is your son or daughter will be navigating life with you in the distance. Having the academic preparation and ability to do the work in college is really only half of the living-learning puzzle of the next four years. Although moms or dads may only be a phone call away, that isn't always the best first line of defense for a young adult who is beginning to spread their wings. Educational Consultant, Amy Jasper, offers five things to put into action now so your teen will be ready later:

1.    Let your teen run out of toothpaste. There are many basic life skills that as adults we take for granted - setting an alarm clock and getting up on our own; how and when to separate, wash and dry loads of clothes; and/or going to the store when you want to have snacks on hand or need toothpaste. Teens often don’t understand how their bathroom or the pantry are always stocked and ready. Start these lessons now.

2.    Begin the sometimes-difficult conversations about underage and binge drinking, drugs, sexual assault, and personal safety. Unfortunately no campus is immune to these issues and all types of students make poor choices: some who have a history of such behavior in high school and many who do not. Of course what exacerbates all of this is the immense amount of freedom that exists in every facet of their life in college. When there is no curfew, you have to know when it is time to leave the party (or library, or student center, or friend’s dorm) and leave it safely with others.

3.    Any upcoming doctors appointments? Let your child take the lead when talking to the nurse or doctor, signing in, etc. Being sick at college can be a time when many freshmen really miss home. Even though they won’t have the comfort of their own bed or the love and care you would provide, be certain they are equipped to handle not feeling well. They should be able to articulate how they feel to the doctor or nurse on campus, know how to get a prescription filled, and what medications, if any, they currently take or are allergic to.

4.    If you find yourself still running interference for your teen in matters of school and social life…STOP. Take a step back and talk them through options instead of solving the problem for them. While in college, you want your child to be able to make the right choices most of the time and understand and accept the consequences when they don’t. The lessons of cause and effect are valuable and will serve them well as they grow into the responsible happy adults that you want them to be.

5.    Resist the temptation to say, “College years are the best four years of your life.” It sets an expectation that may not be immediately met and your child can be left feeling that they have failed in some way. As adults the feeling of those years being the greatest probably came after the reality of work, mortgages, and bills set in and NOT while you actually were in college (and certainly not the first semester of freshman year). Be certain your teen knows that neither you nor your college years were perfect.

Feel confident in all of the values, tips, and guidance you have given your teen over the years. More times than not, they do rise to the occasion. Great times are ahead!

Amy Smith Jasper is an educational consultant helping students and parents navigate the sometimes overwhelming college admissions process. She offers personalized support and a perspective unique to her work in selective college admissions and independent school college counseling. As the mother of a current college freshman, Amy has seen and surprisingly enjoyed the process from all angles.


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