College Ready: What Your Teen Should Know Before Leaving the Nest
Leaving the nest and starting college can be hard on both parents and teens. Being prepared will make the adjusting period easier for everyone. Check out the list below for some tips teens can use before heading off to college this fall.
You may not believe it, but you will get homesick at some point. Whether you miss mom’s cooking or having your high school friends nearby, adjusting to a new environment can be hard. To ease the transition, get involved with a sport, club, part-time job, or even just a close group of new friends in your dorm. Keeping yourself busy and having a support system will ensure you’re happy in this next step of your life.
While it’s tempting to go wild on pizza and chicken nuggets in the cafeteria, try your hardest to stick to a healthy diet. You may get too busy to exercise regularly, so diet is extra important. Plus eating healthy will make you sleep better, keep your skin clear, and make you feel great overall, which will really help when you are run down during finals week.
Make sure you are ready for the drinking life that may or may not be on your campus. If you are underage, don’t drink. The consequences for you and others will be far steeper than you can imagine. Criminal Defense Attorneys in Jacksonville deal with these situations all the time, and can tell you the punishment isn’t worth the party. If you are old enough to drink, stay smart. Never drink and drive and be sure you only drink what you can handle. No one likes going to class with a hangover after all.
Treat College Like Work
For now, this is your job, so treat it as such. Go to class unless you are really sick, and act professionally when you are there. Form personal relationships with professors since you never know when you may need extra help on an assignment or a recommendation for graduate school or a job.
With all your assignments, exams, games, social events, and work, you will suddenly have a lot more on your plate than you’re used to. Use a calendar, either on your wall or your laptop or phone, to keep track of this stuff so you don’t have to take up space in your brain trying to remember them all. Writing weekly and daily to-do lists will also ensure you don’t have to pull all-nighters because you forgot about a paper until the day before it’s due.
Make the School Work for You
Take advantage of your school’s resources while you can. You’re paying for access to tutors, nurses, career counselors, and a gym, so get your money’s worth!
Watch Your Funds
College life can be very expensive; you want to avoid getting into deep student debt. View financial aid resources from your college, state agencies, and community organizations. Search and apply for all available scholarships (win your college scholarship with ThePensters!). And most importantly, start saving for college. Find a summer job to help build funds for your college needs.
The idea of going to college can be scary for teens and parents alike, but in reality, it’s an exciting and important step. Follow the tips above and the whole family will have a happy, healthy transition!