Is your child prepared for college? Sure, they may have a school picked out and applications mailed, but what about everything else? It’s a big world out there. Ensure success for your child by preparing them for college with these ten life skills.
The “freshman 15” is a term used for new college freshman who gain an average of 15 pounds over their first year away from home. Insensitive? Yes, but it is based on a real issue freshman face: basic nutrition.
Preparing your child for college should include basic nutrition knowledge. Navigate them toward resources like myplate.gov or schedule an appointment with a dietician for advice. Investing in this life skill will prepare your child for a healthy freshman experience, boosting their confidence and independence.
Set meal times
Along the same lines as basic nutrition, college preparation should include knowledge of when to eat. Three meals and two snacks a day spaced approximately three hours apart is ideal for keeping your child alert and ready to learn. Encourage them to plan ahead in order to avoid skipping meals.
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Bedtimes are not just for young children. A routine time to turn in helps people of all ages fall asleep more quickly and net the required sleep hours needed for positive health benefits. Adjusting to life away from home can prove challenging when it comes to sleep, making a set bedtime an important life skill to teach. A tired, sleep deprived student is unlikely to put forth their best academic performance.
College preparation tends to focus on leaving home, but it is also important to prepare your child for homesickness. Setting a time each day or week for your child to call home can alleviate some of the strain of uprooting that comes with the college transition.
This is a basic life skill. Preparing your child for college should certainly involve a good laundry education. Set a foundation of when and how to wash and dry laundry before they leave home. Once your child makes the move to college, ensure they have access to laundry facilities and any necessities needed, such as rolls of quarters and detergents.
College may be the first time your child must clean a bathroom, or perhaps your child mastered this chore while at home. Either way, preparing your child for college involves teaching them how to live with roommates and sharing spaces like bathrooms. They should know how to properly clean a bathroom for their own sake and for keeping the peace with roommates. Educate your child on what cleaning supplies to use and how frequently to clean. Be sure they know to never mix ammonia and bleach — it’s extremely toxic.
This little word has a big impact on college success. Preparing your child for college should center around organizational skills as it is needed in every facet of their life. This can include an organized study space, study materials, dorm room, study schedule, meal times, and more.
In line with organization is time management. Being prepared for college includes knowing how to manage your time wisely. This valuable life skill will encourage academic success and quell procrastination. Calendars and schedules (paper or virtual) are good training tools.
Asking for help
College can be a daunting experience, especially for new freshman. Prepare your child by teaching them to ask for help when they genuinely need it. Instruct them on how and when to ask, and let them know you encourage it.
When to say “no”
There is much more to college life than simply academics. That’s why preparing your child to say no with confidence is an important life skill. Prepare them for success by helping them avoid downfalls, as there are many opportunities. Teaching them that “no” is a full sentence is excellent preparation for college success.
College is a time for growth and new experiences. Your child will be establishing their adult life and in need of solid life skills in order to succeed. Focus on these basics and they will be well on their way to success.