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Helping your child transition to college

Make the move easy

Heading off to college is a huge shift for both you and your child. It’s the first time your kid will be entirely responsible for him or herself. Help your child succeed by making the transition to college easier.

two college girls moving into dorm

Get the goods

College requires a lot of stuff: school supplies, sheets and towels, a shower caddy, computers, printers, ink cartridges, snacks and much, much more. Help your child settle into his dorm room by picking up all the critical supplies. For many kids, this will be their first extended time away from home, so you want their dorm to feel as homey as possible to ease the transition. Pick supplies that reflect your kid’s personality and make him think of home.

Hold a cram session

You won’t be helping your child with his or her homework, but you can help prepare your kid for these first forays into adulthood. Does your child know how to cook a few basic meals? Has she been doing her own laundry already or should you go over the basics? What about ironing? Figure out all those important tasks that your child will now be responsible for and give a crash course on all the basics.

Have the talk

Yes, you’ve probably already had the sex talk and the drug talk and all the other important talks along the way. But as your child is getting ready to go to college, it’s worth reiterating some of the major points. For most kids, this will be the first time they’ve been solely responsible for what time they come home each night, when and how much to study and what to eat. This level of personal freedom requires responsibility and thoughtfulness. Help your child be prepared by having a sit-down conversation about what you expect and how you hope your child will make his or her decisions.

Make moving day memorable

Moving in to the dorm is exciting and scary. Help your child settle in by assisting with all the little things like making the bed, unpacking books and clearing away empty boxes. While your child may be excited to be on her own, leave her with a little something like a framed photo of your family. She may not admit it, but she’ll probably feel homesick throughout the first few weeks at school. A little token from home will help her transition.

Read more about college life

Printable college dorm shopping list
Decorating a dorm room
Surviving your child's first year of college

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