When I was a high school senior, there was nothing that excited me more than leaving for college.
It truly was nothing against my parents. I was simply ready to move on from the melodrama in high school.
I was looking to places beyond where I had grown up and was ready to spread my wings and explore. My parents, however, were a bit less thrilled than I was.
That’s right Moms, this blog post is for you.
Of course, they were excited for me, but they were also worried about their son moving to Grand Rapids. I lived in Davison which is near Flint at the time so I was moving to the opposite side of the state. Fortunately, this story doesn’t have a sad ending of my parents and I fighting.
No, my parents got a manageable hold on their worry and made sure to ask me all of the important questions that I needed to consider to be as prepared as possible for college, and it made all the difference for our relationship.
I’ve compiled some of those questions for you here, so you and your high school senior can find some solid footing as you prepare together for college.
WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR YOUR DORM?
I’m not sure about your child, but I remember that when I was in high school, and when it came to money, I was lucky just to have enough to put in my gas tank to drive back and forth from school.
McDonald’s was certainly not paying me enough to trick out my dorm room or even buy groceries. Heading into college, I had secured an on-campus job, but also knew that the pay cycle was two weeks behind, so I had to figure out how to survive until my paycheck caught up with me.
Enter my very generous parents. When moving into “my own place,” my parents made sure that I was given all of the tools I needed to succeed; that included things like coffee, snacks and furniture.
I imagine that many of your own children will be facing a similar dilemma to the one that I faced my first semester. Even if they aren’t, I am sure they will deeply appreciate that you would go out of your way to still show them that you care about them, even if they’re going to be a little further away.
They may even appreciate you asking if they would like your help moving in. Seeing them in their new element will help give you peace of mind that they are in a safe place.
WHEN ARE YOUR BREAKS FROM SCHOOL?
If you’re anything like my mom, you may have a fear that once your kids go off to college, they won’t call as much or don’t want to see you.
This is absolutely not true. I love my parents to death. Once I started college, though, I also became incredibly busy.
This shortage of free time made me appreciate time with my parents more, and I took almost every opportunity that I could to go home and see them. Because I told them when my breaks were, they were able to prepare for my visits and we were able to spend better time together as a family.
Asking your child when they have breaks from school allows you to prepare in the same way and reminds you that you’re loved. Just try your best to understand if sometimes they choose to stay and hang out with their friends on a weekend instead of coming home. They still love you!
DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO BE?
This is a question you’re inevitably going to get pushback on, but it is one that is incredibly important to ask.
I strongly disliked when my parents would ask me this, but it was only because it forced me to take a critical look at myself, which is something that I found hard to do. The largest piece of advice I can give you when it comes to this, however, is that if they don’t have an answer yet, don’t get mad.
They are going to be busy at college with all of their classes, and it is easy to get used to putting the majority of energy into the grind of school. Sometimes, that means that thinking about this particular question gets pushed until the last minute.
You’ve seen your child grow up and have seen their strengths and interests. Reminding them of that can be helpful as they blaze their own trail towards the future that they want.
DO YOU WANT TO RETAKE YOUR SAT/ACT?
Last week, I wrote in detail about the benefits of retaking the SAT/ACT, which can put some students in a better position as they start their first year of college.
For example, better scholarships and more financial aid opportunities are sometimes available after retaking the SAT/ACT and earning a higher score. Make sure to remind your student of all of the money they could be saving from taking this initiative!
CAN I GET ONE LAST HUG BEFORE YOU GO?
Finally, be sure to remind them of how much you love them as they move onto this exciting new step in their lives. They’ll know that you support them all the way.
If you’re looking to go above and beyond to help your child find their way, don’t be afraid to contact Career and Life Calling about how to get your child thinking ahead and talking about God’s plan for their life!