COLLEGE! Great tips for students AND parents.

Seems like just yesterday you were attending their Little League games, and now it’s time for college! Now is the time to start planning for the emotional part of saying goodbye AND to start them off on the right track with organization and good decisions. Here’s a few tips for you AND your college student!

For Students:

1. Dorm Living: Space is at an ultimate minimum! Bring only essential items with you to school. Use storage units of all shapes and sizes to maximize efficiency. Create an organized workspace for studying. The less you have on your desk the better. A cluttered desk creates a cluttered mind!

2. Time Management is one of the biggest struggles among college freshman. The newfound freedom can easily set you off course. Use a daily planner to record classes, homework assignments, project due dates and campus events. Schedule study time or it won’t happen. Scheduling promotes predictability. Predictability promotes productivity!

3. Finances: Set up a budget and stick to it! Be accountable for your spending. Avoid using credit cards unless you can pay the balance off each month.

4. Campus Resources: Familiarize yourself with the resources your campus has to offer. You never know when you will need them. Campus resources include: the library, campus security, student counseling, office of residential life and the health center, to name a few. Record the location, phone number and hours of location of each in your daily planner.

5. Communicate with your parents on a regular basis! Parents just want to know you are safe, healthy and happy. Stay in touch as often as you can!

For Parents:

1. Let go:  You’ve done a wonderful job raising them, now the hard part – letting them go! College students adjust much quicker and easier when parents show confidence in their ability to handle themselves. On move in day, help them unpack and say goodbye – quickly!

2. Know they will make mistakes: It’s a part of becoming a responsible adult. Provide guidance, but let your child handle issues that arise on their own first before coming in and rescuing them.

3. Communicate on their terms: Social media and texting are the prime modes of communication for this generation. If you don’t know how, learn before your child leaves for college.

4. Respect their boundaries: Remember when you were their age? Know that they may not tell you everything or make the same decisions (good or bad) that you did. College life will be significantly different than life as they knew it before. Let them navigate their own way. Be interested and supportive, but don’t pry.

5. Make a life of your own: It is very stressful for college students if they think you will fall apart when they go off to school. Let them know you will miss them, but that your life will be full with work and/or activities.