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.

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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.

Preparing for “Good Bye”

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It is a moment we know as parents will come one day, and for some of us that realization happens hours after they enter our lives. We only have 17 years with these beautiful creatures before they leave our nest and go out into the world to experience “life”. How can we possibly teach them everything they need to know before they become adults in the eyes of the nation? How can they possibly be adults, when they are still our “babies”? As the end of their senior year approaches and life shifts into the fast lane, at full speed, we as parents have to take a moment to enjoy the ride as well.

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Take the extra picture, make a day out of shopping for the prom dress, celebrate each acceptance letter, plan something special for graduation and make the most out of the summer together, because before you know it the end of August will be here. You’ll be shopping for all of their Dorm room essentials, picking out the best supplies, and maybe even updating their wardrobe.

The world of emotions that will be felt will vary from happy, excited, overwhelmed, proud, sad, nervous, and afraid; but through it all be confident. Confident that all lessons you have tried to teach your child have been learned and they will be okay. Prepare for those first few weeks that may be filled with sad calls of missing home, but also prepare for those calls that tell you how great everything is and how much they love it.  Because, let’s be honest, as a parent it’s going to hurt a little anyway.

 

Good Luck!

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Greetings, fellow bloggers and students!

I am back with my final blog of the summer, the surprise bonus blog. In this post, I want to give you some final pieces of advice. I have said it over and over again; you are about to start the next chapter of your life. You will be living away from home for eight months out of the year doing everything for yourself. You will need to feed yourself, make your own appointments, clean, make payments, etc. You will have a lot on your plate. Things may get tough, but the thing that you need to remember is that you can do it. Have faith in yourself!

Not only will you be changing your everyday life and habits, but you will also be meeting new people. You will meet new friends and new teachers. Yes, this is a scary process, but you must remember that every other freshman is in your shoes as well. They are also meeting new people in a new place without the help of their parents. Just remember to be yourself and you will find the perfect group of friends for you!

Additionally, after changing your lifestyle and meeting new people, you will gain new responsibilities. You are responsible for attending class and managing your time to fit in all of the studying that you will need to do. It takes a few weeks to get time management down, but you will get it eventually!

College, as I have stated all summer, is a very scary process, but if you stay true to yourself and put in the effort, you will have a blast. This is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life! Take advantage of every moment. Relax and remember that you have made it this far! You all have the capability to do great things-share it with the world.

Congratulations and good luck on your exciting journey.

Summer Before College Series 11: Goodbyes Are Easy!

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Mornin’, Bloggers!

Now that you have completed graduation or will experience it soon, your emotions are probably pretty high. You have left the school that you have attended for the last four years, and you soon will leave your family and friends. This is a new chapter in your life’s story. Although this stage in your life is new, it does not mean that you need to start over. Yes, you will make new friends, but you still can keep your old ones. These friends have helped to shape you into who you are today, so it is crucial to hang on to them.

From experience, saying goodbye to family and friends, even if it is just for the school year, can be extremely tough. I cried for an entire day when I had to say goodbye to my friends. My goal is to make saying goodbye easier for you. The summer before college goes faster than you would ever believe, so it is important to begin to think about goodbyes now.

Some tips to help make saying goodbye easier include:

  1. Hanging out with your friends and family as often as you can. Spending time with those closest to you will help you create many memories to take with you. Also, this will trick your mind into thinking that the “goodbye” will not be the last time that you will see your friends/family for the summer. My friends and I spent nearly every day together before college, and when we went to say goodbye, none of us truly believed that we were leaving and found it extremely easy.
  2. Taking lots of pictures! If you take lots of pictures of family and friends, then you can take them to school with you and look at them whenever you feel homesick! You will always have a piece of them with you!
  3. Planning a Skype/telephone schedule. Develop a communication schedule for your family and friends. That way, it will not be as hard to say goodbye, knowing that you will hear or see them again soon!
  4. Planning a visiting schedule with your friends and family. Similar to the last tip, knowing that you will see your loved ones soon, will make saying your goodbyes easier!
  5. Pulling a “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” Like the book/movie suggests, find something that connects you to your friends/family and share it with them. For example, a few girls from my high school sent one journal around to each member of their group, just as the girls in the movie sent the pants. The girls would record their experiences in the journal and then send it to another member. This helped them to stay connected in a fun way. Additionally, this helped the girls keep their relationship alive, as well as gave them something to look forward to. You could do something similar to this! Just find that one thing that connects you!

Again, saying goodbyes can be tough, but if you plan ahead, it can be a piece of cake!