Today’s featured post comes from one of our favorite writers, Jenna Smith.  Please welcome her back with these informative tips for those of you sending children off to college in the near future!

The time when a child prepares to leave for college is bound to be a stressful and emotional one, no matter whether it is your first child to go, or the last. For many, it will be the first time a person leaves home for an extended period of time. Expect a certain level of anxiety on both sides! There are a few tips that can be taken into account whether a student is off for pharmacy school or an art degree:

Ensure the Preparedness of Students

This is more than ensuring students have all of the proper supplies and books. It means making sure the’ve explored the area they plan to live in. Many colleges and universities have “welcome weekends” and orientation processes allowing for families to explore the campus and surrounding areas, and taking advantage of this time is important. From learning where restaurants, stores, hospitals, and campus buildings are located to beginning to learn the way to each of them, navigation is an important skill to prepare for college life.

Let them know you’re only a phone call away 

Leaving for college is not always an easy transition for students. Many will become homesick for the people and places that they grew up with, and for those students, the first weeks away can be a challenge. Reassuring them that you are only a phone call – or in some cases, a short drive – away can help to make the time pass more quickly. With today’s technology, there are many ways to keep in touch, even from across state lines, and at times this will be all that is necessary to keep students content and focused.

Make sure that they believe in themselves 

College is a lot different from high school, and many students may be apprehensive about how they will do once they start classes. From making grades to making new friends, large campuses with students from all over can be overwhelming, but the new students need to remember that their acceptance to the school was not by accident.  In order for them to succeed, they must believe in themselves. So, surrounding themselves with people in different fields of study should make it easier to fit in and start a routine. It will take some time, but each student has the ability to succeed and excel as long as they make the effort.

Beginning a college career does not have to be a scary or overwhelming part of life, and it won’t be if parents and students take the time to talk about it. Following advice from graduates as well as taking everything in stride are ways to make the process much more manageable for everyone involved.