Is Your Child Ready for College?

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Is Your Child Ready for College

Is your child ready for college? You knew your child would eventually leave home one day though it does not make it hurt any less. You have been preparing your child to become an independent adult all this time. However are they truly there? We spend the year asking the question, “Can my child go to college?”. Carried away with filling college applications, doing interviews, and visiting college campuses. They forget to ask the most crucial question at the time. “Is my child actually ready to go to college?”

In a study carried out by Barnes and Noble College Insights in 2019, the researchers surveyed parents and students to understand college life better as it is now. Their study showed that college students are more stressed than ever, which results from the stress that comes with making friends, the present political environment, financial responsibilities, academic expectations, and lots more. The two questions are they academically ready and emotionally aware? A large private school in the UK found that one-third of their pupils did not finish their first choice course. As they go so much support they just weren’t ready. This might be the case in many supportive homes across the world. Here we have guidelines about What Skills Your Child Needs to Leave Home With?

Academic Readiness for College

This may come as a shock to most parents, but do you know that only 60 percent of students complete their degree within six years of enrolling? Below are several factors that will determine if a teen is ready for college.

  • Ability To Handle Course Workload. A great way to assess a teen’s readiness is to observe their ability to handle the coursework typically found in a college. It is different from getting perfect scores on tests like SAT and ACT. If they are barely passing basic classes, it may be an excellent time to assess their ability to handle college work. However, if they’re mastering AP and Honors courses, there is a good likelihood that they are academically ready.  
  • Level of Procrastination. Procrastination is another vital issue worth looking into. If your teen is someone who puts doing assignments until the last minute, then this is a bad habit worth looking into as it’s terrible to live on as the workload in college is way more than that in high school. Does your child skip school often? Does he often need a day off from school? Then it’s a sign that they will struggle in college. Most professors require class attendance, and it’s a part of the final grade. So, teens need to attend classes at all times as absence from classes will affect the passing of that class in flying colors. 
  • Time Management. For your teen to survive in college academically, he needs to be able to manage his time effectively and to be able to allocate time for essential academic activities like reading and writing. In a case where you find your child lacking, you can decide to register him for summer classes or tutoring programs to get him ready. Another thing could be registering your child in a community college to bring your child up to speed. Here we discuss more about Teaching Your Child the Value of Time and Money

Emotional Readiness for College

Beyond academic capabilities, a child needs to be ready emotionally before they set off for college. Many situations can affect your child’s mental health, especially when they aren’t emotionally prepared. One of the best ways to ascertain if your child is ready for college is to look at their present lives in high school. The following are worth looking into and observing:

  • Ability To Cope With Stress. Everybody goes through stress, from adults in their workplace to kids in high school and college. Assignments, homework, extracurricular activities, dealing with friendships, and a host of many others can get teens stressed. However, teens who know how to deal with stress more healthily will be more successful than those who party and engage in other unhealthy vices in college. 
  • Your Child’s Ability To Be Responsible. Observe how your child deals with assignments and relates with people. Does he get things done on time? Does he submit assignments on time and is punctual? Does he steer clear from toxic friends and situations? This goes a long way to show how your child will behave in college. 
  • Ability To Cope With Life’s Issues and Difficult Situations. College is not as easy as it seems. There are days when your child will need to deal with difficult coursemates or professors. There may also be days where they may have to stand up to a bullied roommate. How do they go about it? Your child needs to be able to solve problems and stand up to complicated feelings and situations. 
  • Ability To Perform the Basic Chores. No parent follows their child to college, and it’s going to be the same with you. A great way to check if your kid is ready for college is in their ability to carry out basic life activities and take care of themselves. Their ability to perform day-to-day activities like cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc., is essential. 

Skills You Can Teach Your Child to Be Ready for College

Below are fundamental life skills your child needs to have before they leave home:

  • Money Management Skill. It is the first thing to teach anybody about to start life on their own. Understanding money and knowing the basics of money management can make or break their success as an adult. So, other than teaching kids about the importance of studying and engaging in one or two extracurricular activities, you must educate them on money. This includes how to delay gratification, how to handle and stay out of debts, and how to save and invest for the future. Internal links to add. You could create a money management experience for your child before they leave school by instilling in them the need for creating and following a monthly budget for all of their expenses. Also, teach them about a scale of preference and the difference between needs and wants to help manage their spending habits. Here we have an article for Talking To Children About Money.
  • Basic Life Skills. From cooking to being confident to talk to companies on the phone about bills. No teen is ready for college without having basic life skills. For example, your teen should be able to prepare his meals, wash up after eating, clean up his room, make it organized, do his laundry, and take care of minor problems around the house like fixing a bulb or plunging a toilet. After home skills, they need to know how to talk to companies about utility bills and other things. We take this for granted but it can be daunting at a first. Another thing worth mentioning is that you need to teach your child how to be self-confident. This is a skill that is important as your college student comes in contact with fellow students, professors, roommates, and other members of the college and society at large.
  • Basic Self-Care Practice. As your child will be staying on their own in college, they need to be conscious about self-care as it’s essential. For instance, they should know how to practice good hygiene and how to care for their body. In addition, your child needs to know how to make an appointment in the university’s health center when they are sick and take over-the-counter medications safely. Living as an independent adult in college, your child needs to know how to sleep on time, eat right, and many more. If not, the college will be a challenging experience for them.  If you notice that your child is still lagging in this area, you could teach and encourage them about establishing self-care routines so they are ready for the independence of college.
  • Being Security Conscious. Teach your children to be far more aware of their surroundings. They will now have a room or flat to be concerned with. It may be easy for students to say that a college is a safe place. Sadly, that is not always the case. Lindy Schneider, the co-founder of com, gives parents a simple piece of advice. Do not depend on the college to keep their children safe. Often parents think that college is an extension of school. However, if you ring up the college, if your child is over 18 they legally can not talk to you about them. They are unlikely to ring you if your child is struggling, or if they keep leaving their dorm unlocked.

Final Thoughts on Being Ready for College

Your child will eventually leave, and the truth is, you won’t be following them there but you have a duty to make them ready for college. Over the years you have been scaffolding their independence. But, if we are honest, we like being needed. With a few months to go till they leave it is time now to let them go. Make sure that they can fend for themselves. Enjoy them as the young adults that they are.