>U Mom Knows Best: How Your Parents Can Help You Prepare for College

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

How Your Parents Can Help You Prepare for College


 Going to college is a huge milestone in many young adults’ lives. It’s a great experience unlike any you’ve experienced before. But, because it’s such a novel experience, you may need your parents’ help during the process. They have had years' worth of experience regarding duties, organization, and preparation, which are all important skills to nurture when going to college. Your parents can help you prepare for this milestone that may, at times, be overwhelming. Let’s look at some of these: 

1. Choosing the College 

 The first step of preparing for college is to choose from a list of the potential colleges you would like to go to. Your parents can help you explore your options. Nowadays, you can attend many colleges regardless of your location through online learning. They can help you choose a four-year college online and explain to you some of the benefits of choosing this route. Benefits of online learning include; 

+ Learning at your own pace 

+ Flexible schedules

+ Various learning modes 

+ Eliminated costs such as transport, accommodation, utilities, groceries, campus wear

+ Convenient and comfortable environment at home

2. Paying Tuition

 Your parents can help you pay your tuition. Your tuition will depend on various factors such as whether the college is online or physical. Whether you are an international student, an out-of-state student, living on or off-campus, and whether you will have any scholarships from either the school of choice or third-parties will impact how much your tuition ends up being. You can do a cost comparison of various colleges to see the ones that your parents can afford to pay for, either on their own or in combination with federal or private loans. 

3. Helping with the Job Search

 As much as your parents may afford or are willing to pay tuition, they may also help your job hunt for you to contribute to the financial requirements of the college. Besides tuition, you will need to pay for your groceries, transport, textbooks, and rent if you’re living off-campus. Your parents can help you with the job-hunting process, which includes writing an effective CV or résumé, finding different job portals that will show the potential areas you can work as a student, and sharing application and interview tips. 

4. Applying for Funding

 Your parents can help you find different funding channels that will help you pay for tuition. Funding channels can include the college itself, private funding, and government scholarships that you may qualify for. For instance, merit-based funds are available to students who need help paying for school. These are funds that are awarded based on a number of different factors, including grades, community service, internships, and specific projects that the student has worked on. These are some of the most commonly awarded grants, but there are many other types available as well. 

Your parents can help you locate these various funding streams and help you throughout the stipulated application methods. Make sure to apply for as many funding opportunities as you can in order to receive all of the financial help that you can.

5. Documentation Required for College

 When you enroll in a college, you will need specific documentation. If you are an international student, you will require a valid passport and a student visa. Regardless of your nationality, you will need to present your high school grades, transcripts, vaccination history, and proof of tuition payment. Without such documentation, it may be difficult to get registered for courses. You can ask your parents to help you research the documents needed by the college and assemble them together.

6. Teaching Financial Budgeting

 Your parents may have budgeting tips that will help you while you are in college. You will need to be wise with your finances so that you don’t experience financial difficulties while at college. 

 The best way to start budgeting your finances is to break everything down in terms of expense and income. Figure out how much you make in a given month, and figure out your total expenses for the month. Once you have this information, you should be able to estimate how much you need to spend, how much you can spend if you want to or have unexpected expenses, and how much you can save each month. You can then budget your money according to your estimated expenses, and every month you will know the exact state of your finances. 

7. Identifying Style of Learning

 College requires taking in large amounts of information, which can get overwhelming if you haven’t developed good study habits or haven’t found the right learning methods for you. Your parents can help you identify the method which you learn best from. Each student has a different method style that works best for them. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of learners:

Visual Learner 

 Visual learners require detailed models, illustrations, or other kinds of visual representations of information to be able to fully grasp a concept. This type of student works best by combining their notes or class readings with visual elements like flow charts, diagrams, and other visually structured forms of information. They also absorb information effectively from media like images and videos that they can associate with the class material.

Audio Learner

 Audio learners typically learn better by listening to things that are being said rather than just reading them. Audio learners benefit from recording and re-listening to lectures, putting concepts to music, and from engaging in conversations in seminars or supplemental recitations. 

Practical Learner

 Practical learners are those that learn by doing. These are students who excel well in mechanical and technical subjects. These learners learn best by practical example and repeated practice. 

 Exploring these various methods of learning with your parents may help you avoid becoming overwhelmed in your courses.

8. Subject Choice

There is an incredible variety of subjects offered at college. This is to accommodate students so that they may tailor their education to suit not only their general field of study—e.g. mathematics, biology, English, foreign language—but also their individual expertise within that larger discipline. 

However, that large variety of courses can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t yet determined what your specialty will be, and you may be confused as to which subject combinations you should pick once you start college. 

Your parents can however help you begin that process before you go. Before you go, your parents can look at the different options offered for majors, minors, and individual courses. Together you can learn about a subject, what it offers, and possible career paths related to that material. If your parents attended college, they will have the first-hand experience to share regarding how to choose your courses. 

9. Sharing Tips to be Successful in College

 College requires a heightened sense of discipline, resilience, and motivation. Before you leave for school, you can ask your parents for tips on how to succeed in college. Succeeding in college means striking a balance between your academic, social, and professional lives, which is not an easy task. 

 In terms of academics, you need to make the most of the study platforms that are made available to you. Your parents may suggest that you join study groups, find tutors to explain concepts that you may otherwise have struggled with. You can visit the library and make use of the material that is there. Online platforms also have various types of learning material that you can study. 

 You should create a schedule and be sure to follow it. The distractions in college are plenty, so you need to exercise some discipline and commitment when it comes to keeping to your schedule. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t build social time into your schedule, but it does mean you need to make sure that your social engagements don’t impinge on academic or professional commitments. 

 Ask your parents for tips on how to stay afloat. Above all other concerns, you need to make sure that you prioritize your wellness—you should never have to sacrifice your mental or physical wellbeing for school. It is one thing to be engaged in the experience, and it is a different thing entirely to be so stressed and depressed that you can’t function. College can get overwhelming with activities, coursework, exams and personal dynamics. You should familiarise yourself with college services that cater to mental and emotional wellness. There may be a school psychologist or a therapy center. You can make use of these facilities when you feel as if you are overwhelmed. 

 Your parents may tell you that the social aspect of college is one that shouldn’t be neglected. This should however be done responsibly. Ask them to discuss responsible social behavior and share experiences that they may have experienced as students if possible. These are the tips that you may carry with you through college and beyond.

10. Sharing Tips on How to Deal with Setbacks

 There will be times when you will feel as if you have failed. This may be in the form of academics, or poor decision making. Some students become depressed, anxious and stressed when plans don’t go as they wish. Your parents can help you how to see such setbacks as opportunities to improve, and teach you skills and coping mechanisms. They can also provide you emotional support during times of difficulty while you’re in school. 

11. Purchasing Items for College

 If you are attending an online college, your parents may help you obtain the material you need. These include a laptop and a reliable internet connection. You may also need a study office set up to avoid distractions. You may also need stationery for writing down your notes. 

 Going to the college physically will require a little more preparation. Your parents may need to help with purchasing clothes for the campus, getting your car serviced, furniture for your place if you’re living off-campus, and various devices or gadgets you may need for your courses. You may require sports attire and equipment as well for the sporting activities that you may decide to take up. You should make a checklist of all the items you may need so that your parents can help with purchasing these. 

12. Tips on How to Pack

 Travelling can be overwhelming, particularly if your college is in another state or country. Ask your parents for tips on how to pack in such a way that will allow you to bring the most items most efficiently. Your parents may have packing hacks that will help you lighten the traveling load. 

 If you’re flying to your school, be sure to but the most important belongings in your carry-on bag so that, in case that your luggage is lost or delayed, you will have your important documents and devices with you. Also be sure to pack a spare change of clothes, just in case.

13. Visiting the College

 When it’s time for you to go to college, you can ask your parents to accompany you if that is possible. Your parents can help you get settled in your dorm room or apartment. Whether you are on or off-campus, you will probably need help unpacking and settling in. Having your parents accompany you to college may also give a sense of calm if you’re feeling anxious. Some colleges also provide orientation for the parents, which will help reassure them as well.


 Your parents can help you prepare for college from the onset of the process. This includes choosing the college, paying tuition, and helping your job hunt in the event that you can help pay for college. They can also help you apply for funding, file required documentation, and teach you how to budget your finances. 

 Your parents may also help you with your style of learning, subject choice, and share with you some tips for becoming successful. How to deal with setbacks is also a dynamic that they can help you it, as well as purchase items for college. They can give you tips on how to pack and can visit the college. 

 Overall, your parents are your best cheerleaders. They will be there to give you the emotional support that you need and be there for you no matter how hard it may get. 

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