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5 Tips for preparing your son or daughter for college

July 9, 2012

By Lori Hanson

Nervous? Can’t stand the thought of your son or daughter heading out the door in a few weeks to start college? Worried about all the potential dangers that await them? (Because you know what you did at that age).

Transition from high school to college is a big one. Whether this is the first kid you’re sending off or the last. There is a mix of emotions from having one out of the nest and then contemplating what happens when the nest is empty.

These 5 tips will help you and your emancipating offspring to have a stress-free and smooth transition from home to college.

1.  Take time to relax and enjoy family time.

Before getting caught up in all the frenzied activity of packing and planning the trip to college, plan one last family weekend together. It can be a picnic or a trip to their favorite place where the whole family can enjoy the time together. Create a special lasting family memory.

2. Reduce the stress from your “To Do” list by making a detailed list of what needs to get done and when.

It’s like your own little project plan for the college move. Schedule time to sit with you’re your son or daughter and create a list. Include things like:

What needs to be purchased?

What needs to be packed?

What communication is due to the college, dorm or housing complex where they will be staying?

What do you need to write down now so you can avoid the last minute scramble.

3. Review the finances.

What payments need to be made before registration? Have all your papers and finances in order before you head out to registration. Make sure your son or daughter is in the communication loop about school loans and any arrangements they’ll be expected to take care of.

4. Do something for yourself.

This can be a tough time. Don’t forget to include space to reduce your stress in the process. Let dad plan a golf outing with the guys and mom, schedule a spa treatment. Or plan a dinner or movie out for just the two of you. Give yourself space to process the change and catch a deep breath.

5. Talk to your son or daughter before they go to college

Jumping out of the nest can be exciting and the freedom is sometimes too much. Talk about the importance of self-care (including sleep), picking friends wisely, and don’t forget drugs, alcohol and sex.

If you liked this article, you can get a copy of my free report Three things you must discuss with your son or daughter before they go to college here.

Lori Hanson is a motivational college speaker, author and coach. Her focus is on helping college students (and their parents) deal with stress proactively. She encourages them to slow down, unplug, live in the moment and adopt a healthy lifestyle now, the keys to position themselves for success.


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