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Prepare your student for college living

For many young adults, college is the first time they get a real sense of independence. It can be tricky to manage.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Just last month, high school seniors graduated, and next month many of those graduates are off to college. And in between, students are getting ready to start a new phase in their lives. This means dorm life and living on their own without being under mom or dad’s watchful eyes.

As with most big changes in someone’s life, the adjustment can be a little tricky.

I’ve come up with the 3 M’s to help parents with the process of getting their kids ready for college life: managing problems, time, and money.

College students have to manage problems on their own, whether they have conflicts with their roommate to not getting classes at the day and time that they want. 

A great way for parents to help their college students manage problems is to let them manage their problems now. This means, for example, not to intervene when they get into arguments with their siblings. 

Let them work it out. Your college student will have to handle their roommate problems. However, you can teach them ways to handle disagreements. 

Encourage your college student to hit Google when they can’t figure something out instead of asking you.

Your college student will quickly learn that their attention will be split between their academics, social life, and work. This means that they have to manage their time wisely. 

If they’re used to procrastinating, they’ll quickly realize that doesn’t work so well in college. Working backwards from the due date of an exam or project will help ensure that there’s enough time to get it done. 

Managing time includes managing time for sleep, which is underrated but so important.

Most college kids don’t have unlimited spending money. This means that they have to learn how to manage their money without turning to mom and dad’s ATM.

Parents should talk about their expectations about money management with their college student. How much mom or dad will be giving them if any. What’s going to happen if their college student overspends and runs out of money.

Reviewing a budget and possible expenses would be helpful.

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