When your eldest child leaves for college, it can be a strange experience. Not only are you extremely proud of them, but you’re experiencing a whirlwind of emotions at the same time.
There are numerous things to consider when your kid is going to college.
Will they settle in happily?
Will they do well in their studies?
There are so many questions that go through your mind. Sometimes, we wonder if it would be better if they refused to leave home!
But we want what’s best for them. And before the emotional rollercoaster of your child leaving kicks in, there’s a load of other things for you to consider. From the second they decide to go to college to the moment they leave, there’s a lot of planning and preparing for you to do as a parent.
First of all, this is something that happens from the day that acceptance letter arrives.
So they got into college, now what?
Are they ready?
It’s a lot to think about, but if you plan ahead, you can make the transition easier for the both of you.
It will be a different experience for them, socially and educationally.
Perhaps talking to a college alumnus or a family friend that’s currently in college will do you both good. Your kid can understand what college life is like and you can feel more at ease, knowing that you’ve done all that you can for them.
One of the most daunting things about sending your child off to college can be the financial burden.
Perhaps you have that covered, or you set up a trust when they were born. Then you might want to skip this part.
But if not, figuring out how to finance your kid through college can be tough.
There are scholarships and financial aid, of course, but sometimes you need to be able to chip in yourself.
Some parents sacrifice things to get their kids through college, but what you choose to do will depend on your financial situation.
Now that both you and your child are feeling a little more prepared and you’ve figured out the finances, it’s a good idea to think about the college lifestyle.
Before they move away, you’ll need to make sure that they’re fully equipped to take on their new life as a college student.
Have you thought about what they’ll need before they leave?
Do they need stuff for sports as well as academics?
What is the weather like in their new college town?
Planning before you buy and stock up might mean you get everything they need in time.
So they’re ready to go, but how are they going to get there?
Are you all going together or are they going alone?
It might be handy to look into national movers so you can get their stuff to college in one piece, especially if they’re moving across the country and they have a lot of stuff to take.
Once you’ve figured out how their college things are getting there, you can then decide whether you’ll drive up or fly.
And finally, the plans might all be in place, but do they (and you) know what to expect from the college experience?
It’s likely that they’ll know what’s expected from them as far as grades and studies are concerned, and the alumnus meeting might have prepared them for workloads, but what about other responsibilities?
You might want to prepare them for life living alone.
Letting them experiencing it before they move is a good idea, say by taking a weekend break and leaving them in charge.
And don’t forget to teach them how to do laundry if they don’t already know; it’ll save you getting wash loads to do when they come home!