How Parents Can Help Their Student Prepare for Freshman Year of College This Summer

Parents can help their student move into their dorm room freshman year

Flickr user Penn State

Is your high school graduate planning on going to college this fall? They probably have a lot on their plate getting ready for their first semester. There are plenty of ways you can help your kids prepare for college over the summer months. These are just a few things you as parents can do:

Be Supportive

One of the number one things you can do to help out your student is be supportive. They might have not selected the college you wanted them to, but support them just the same. They’re probably nervous enough already and it’s good to know that you have their back.

This also includes being helpful and listening. Listen to their worries or questions and give helpful life advice.

Help Them Create a Packing List

One of the major mistakes college freshmen make is packing too much or too little. It tends to lean toward the “too much” side, but you can absolutely help your child create that packing list. Help them go over what they need for clothes, cleaning supplies, school supplies, and more. You may think of some things they will need that they have completely forgotten about.

Your student should absolutely bring along some personal items or hobbies, so be sure their adding things to do in their free time as well. This might be a favorite book, video games, painting supplies, or something else.

When move-in day comes, you may also want to offer your help to get them set up. Space might be limited in their dorm, but you might be able to help them make the most use out of it.

Help Them Understand Their Medical Insurance

Many high school students don’t understand the first thing about their health insurance and that doesn’t change much for graduates entering their first year of college. Summer is the time to review this with them. They may have to set up a specific doctor if you have an HMO or they need to know what local physicians and hospitals take their insurance in case of an emergency. Your student should have their own insurance card and understand how their coverage works.

Most colleges also require medical information, health insurance, and up to date vaccines to attend. You’ll need to have this information together to give to the school. Make sure to let the college know too if your student has any severe allergies or other problems. Colleges are required to give health accommodations in certain cases.

Help Them Create a Budget and Talk Finances

For many students, college is the first time they’ll be managing their own finances. It’s good to sit down and teach your student about how to budget, how to save money, how their financial aid or student loans function, and talk about the importance of smart spending.

These are only a few ways you can help your high school graduate prepare for college this summer. There’s no doubt your student will have plenty of questions or concerns as the move in date approaches. You can help them prepare and calm any nerves they may have.

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