How to prepare your teen for college

Published 1:30 pm Sunday, July 11, 2021

UNITED STATES,/ — College is such a fun and exciting time for teenagers, but as a parent, it tends to feel a little bittersweet. There’s so much knowledge we want to impart on our kids, and it can seem like there’s so little time to do it. Leading up to your teen’s transition into college, there are some great things that help them shift smoothly toward their next chapter. Here are 4 ways to prepare your teen for college.

Let them create a routine
It’s easy to feel like we have to do everything for our kids, but as they close in on their final year of high school, it’s a great idea to give them some freedom to build their own routine.
Instead of reminding them what to do every day, let them take responsibility for their schedule. Waking up and leaving for school on time, blocking time after school to study and do homework, and getting to bed at a reasonable hour are all things they’ll need to have figured out by the time they get to college. Give them some time to get acclimated before they leave home.

Show them how to manage their finances
Set aside some time with your teen to talk about personal finance. It’s a topic that tends to be overlooked in many schools, yet it’s crucial for life on their own. Showing them how to create a budget, balance a checkbook, and make smart financial decisions are some of the most important things parents can do before sending their teen off on their own.

Prepare with summer jobs
Encouraging your teen to get a summer job is a great way for them to practice taking responsibility for their life. Not only do summer jobs help teach the importance of a strong work ethic, but they also help put into practice time management and creating their own routine. This is also an awesome way for them to learn how to properly manage their own money so they can set themselves up for success in the future.

Talk to them about safety
The fact that you won’t be there to look after your teen can be one of the most challenging parts of this transition for parents, which is why having a talk with them about safety is so important. There are tons of hard topics to cover, like binge drinking, drug use, consent, and not getting in the car with someone who’s been drinking, to name a few.

There are even scholarships available, like the Christensen Law Distracted Driving Awareness Scholarship, that invite students to learn more about and help prevent dangerous driving.

Ultimately, your teen is responsible for their own life, but offering these practices before they leave home can certainly help make their transition smoother.