With many students leaving home for college or university for the first time, the whole experience can feel rather daunting for them.
Though teens may have ended high school with notable grades, they may not be prepared to live on their own quite yet. It’s very important to start preparing for this new chapter mentally and as well as physically. It’s typically much easier to prepare physically by tackling the back-to-school shopping and coordinating a dormitory room; however, having conversations about other areas with teens may be just as important for their success.
Here are a few easy steps to help your college-bound teen handle college life.
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Identify “away from home” needs and the skills teens need for the environment they will be living in, such as paying bills, writing down appointments or scheduling a doctor’s appointment.
Help them make a realistic plan to prioritize what they need to learn, and also teach them skills for independence so they can complete tasks without you. Then, start backing off and stop rescuing once your child knows how to do the task independently.
Juggling new class schedules and distractions like campus life and new friends can be challenging, so planning and time management skills are key. We suggest that students make a list of activities and to-dos, prioritize items, and tackle the hardest task first then cross completed actions off the list.
With more advanced classes, students need to work on study skills. Some common study habits are actually ineffective, including underlining, highlighting, rereading and cramming. Instead, call attention to important information and materials using Post-it® Message Flags and Post-it® Writable Flags, and jot down key facts as you read using Post-it® Note Tabs to easily recall and review information.
Michele Borba, Ed.D, is an internationally renowned educator, TODAY Show contributor and parenting expert recognized for her solution-based strategies to strengthen children’s character and reduce peer cruelty. For more about her see www.micheleborba.com or follow her on twitter @micheleborba