7 Life Lessons to Teach Your Kids Going to College

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There comes a time in many parents’ lives where they must cut the strings and send their son and/or daughter off to college.  While this can be a rather sad time, at the same time there is always sense of pride and excitement that comes with knowing your child is taking the next steps into adulthood.  Of course, as parents it is your duty to prepare your child for what is to come and what to avoid.  Below are seven life lessons every parent should teach their kid before beginning the most exciting years of their lives.

 

1. Wash Linens and Make Your Bed

Building great habits is extremely crucial.  Even though you aren’t around to make sure things are neat and tidy every day, it is important to instill cleanliness values so that they follow through on their own while away from home. Get your students prepared with everything they need to succeed, like OCM’s laundry hampers. Additionally, studies have shown that people who wake up and make their beds before stepping out for the day lead much more clear-headed, organized lives.  Accomplishing this first task of the day will help establish a small sense of pride, and get you ready and able to take on more tasks throughout the day.

make-bed

2. Save Your Cents

Each year, more and more college students are graduating already in debt.  With that being said, it is never too early to teach your kids to start saving for future loan paybacks.  Money habits at this age set the tone for later on.  If you notice something off about their money spending habits early on, this will only escalate once they are independent.  Your son or daughter needs to be well aware that money is finite, and what you run out of will not come back unless more is earned

3. Get a Part-time Job

While no student should ever take on a full-time, intensive job that could get in the way of studies, a part-time job can be extremely beneficial.  Not only will it help with spending cash and savings, but having a part-time job is a fantastic character-building experience.  It gives them a taste for a future in the workplace, insight on how to juggle a busy schedule, and help for meeting new people outside of their classrooms.  Almost every college and university offers a ton of job options within a work-study program, where students can earn extra cash working on campus.

4. Work Hard, For Yourself

There is no better path to a strong sense of self-respect than honest work.  Teach your kids to embrace working hard and always going the extra mile, and they will discover, early on, the depth of their own potential and abilities.  It is only until you give something your absolute best effort will you know if you can be good at it.

5. Plan for the Future

It is important that your child deliberates about his or her life regularly.  Have them think about what their ultimate peace looks like, and it will help make a clear path through the steps needed to get there.  Consider using dry erase calendars and having them make a list of goals and aspirations, both short-term and long-term, before they leave home to refer back to as a working road map throughout college. Having a clear sense of the future helps to instill purpose outside of one’s self and gives meaning to the quest for ultimate happiness.

6. Be Kind

There are infinite benefits in being kind to others.  It usually doesn’t cost anything or take much time to help someone in a pickle, notice a success, or offer a compliment.  Being kind to your peers and mentors will help establish a positive reputation and just might open new doors for your child in the future.

7. Don’t be Afraid to Fail

College is a time to push your boundaries and challenge yourself in ways never done before.  Since no one is perfect, this adversity always presents some bumps along the way.  Failure is among one of the best ways to grow and learn as an individual, so never be afraid of it.  Life is too short to always play it safe in fear of messing up.  Teaching your kids how to brush themselves off after defeat is one of the most beneficial life lessons.

My Work Experience at a Horse Farm Last Summer

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I’ve always loved horses and wanted to travel, so last summer I decided I’m going to put these two together and go work on a horse farm in Australia. Yes, in Australia, in the Victoria area in the south of the continent, with a great family and beautiful ranch with horses, cattle and sheep. Perfect! So I’m going to try to share some of the best moments I had while working on this farm.

I found this Australian family online through a work and travel program. They were looking for some help around the farm and in their beautiful garden. The family I lived with, run their own activity-based school camp with a flying fox and lots of fun activities like playing in their own lake. Other people were also working and volunteering there. Since my job was mostly on the horse farm, I spent a large part of my time with three girls from France who were there on a horse apprenticeship. We enjoyed the time on the job so much that we also hung out in our free time.

There was a little staff house built on the farm where all volunteers and workers lived. The house had everything, except a kitchen; the farm owners were preparing the food by themselves, and that was the best part because their food is absolutely delicious. They knew how to cook and everything was fresh right from the garden, just real organic vegetables.

My job was mostly helping around the farm taking care of the horses, but we also had lots of other chores like building fences, feeding the dogs, rescuing kittens, etc. Personally, I was skeptical about working with cats. I know because I have them and noticed that they always got in some kind of trouble. I also noticed that farm work is never done. I always wanted to have a horse farm, but I never thought that it would be so much work and fun; we were painting houses, riding in tractors, riding the horses and just relaxing in the rural countryside with our visitors. It was great taking care of the animals on the farm. I spent lots of time playing with the baby horses and those were some of the best moments; they are so fragile and their deep eyes were absolutely amazing. One night, while I was there, a foal was born. Alice, one of the French girls, found out first and we all got there, standing behind the door, waiting for the newborn and witnessing the miracle of life. It was an unforgettable moment for all of us.

Aside from the work, in our free time we also had lots of things to do on the farm and in the camp. I had a chance to learn how to fish in the lake (trust me, that’s a very hard task to do). We also went canoeing and hiking in the near mountainous region. Peter and Marry organized us a trip to Canberra, the capital city of Australia, which was in the same region as we were. We once went to Sydney too, but I personally enjoyed Canberra more. Unlike other capital cities in the world, Canberra is built in a gorgeous valley and the natural surrounding is so amazing that it feels like the whole city is located inside a large beautiful park. We visited the National Museum of Australia, Capitol Hill, and of course, one of the most impressive war museums in the world, the Australian War Memorial.

Overall, I was so happy with my work experience at the horse farm last summer that I decided to repeat it once again this next summer, except that this time, instead of Australia, I’ll be heading to some European country. Being on this farm made me realize how wonderful it is to connect with nature and the “simple life”, so I guess I’ll be looking for some similar experience, like Normandy in France. What do you think?