The end of summer is quickly approaching, and you are excited to be heading off to college. You have worked hard to get this far, and academically you are ready to go. Getting sent off into the real world can be overwhelming, so make sure you are set up for success. Here are some essential things to do to prepare for this new adventure.
Talk About Safety
You are no longer going to be under the watchful eye of your parent, you definitely are no longer a child. But as excited as you may be for this opportunity, you likely don’t have previous experience handling these new life-altering situations. College life brings a lot of new opportunities, good and risky, and you need to be prepared. Have a conversation with your parents, or someone older you trust about your safety. It’s smart to discuss the choices you’ll face, regarding drinking or drugs (and being in a car with a driver who has indulged in either), protecting yourself from sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, and how to ward off unwanted advances. Supply yourself with the tools necessary to protect yourself and remind yourself your family and mentors are only a phone call away if you need help.
Teach Cleanliness and Organizational Skills
Living in a dorm, apartment or shared room doesn’t allow for a lot of space. Learn how to clean up after yourself and start by contribute to household chores, so you’ll get the hang of it and know the tricks and shortcuts. Developing these habits early on means you have time to perfect this skill before you are on their own. Not to mention having a tidy space allows you to concentrate on schoolwork better, keep track of assignments and feel more relaxed.
Establish a Budget
Whether you have your own money saved up for school or are receiving an allowance from your parents, you need to know how to spend wisely. Learn how to establish a budget before the school year starts. Determine what monthly expenses you will need to pay and how much spending money is available. With all the opportunities to go out and have fun as a college student, make sure you realize the importance of covering your bills first. This skill is vital even after college because it sets you up for long-term financial success.
Practice Time Management
Over the years at home, your parents may have needed to remind, or urge you to get up in the morning, leave for school or work, and when to go to bed. Once you are on their own, you are responsible for doing this yourself. While you are still at home, force yourself to start doing this on your own. Set your own their alarms and choose when to go to sleep in a smart way. If you are tired and achingly ineffective from getting too little sleep, that is a lesson that helps you better prepare for making that choice in the future. Once you have your school schedules, review how long it takes to get where you need to be each day and have an estimated plan to follow. It’s up to you to make it work.
As you get ready to leave for college, follow these recommendations to head off on the right foot. So even without parents there to keep an eye on you every day, you’ll know you have the tools for success and a rewarding college experience.