High school graduates are about to be college freshman in a few short months. While lots of excitement and stress accompanied the admission process, the actual transition is an even more emotional time for students and families. Take these steps from the professional to ensure a smooth transition.
Imposing strict curfews the summer before college and micromanaging your teen is one of the biggest mistakes parents make. Letting go is not easy. Before you impose restrictions, remind yourself that in a few short months you will be out of the picture and your teenager will be making these decisions on their own. They will fail. They will fail on their own and become stronger and more prepared as a result. We all learn by doing and teenager college students are no exception. So many different experiences will be pulling their attention away from their classes, learning to balance is a huge part of developing maturity and judgement.
You have done an amazing job giving your teenager roots, now it’s time to give the wings. By now they know how to make character judgements and priorities of right over wrong. They realize consequences for actions. They’ve gotten this far and that’s huge. Take time for these meaningful conversations as you shop to update fall wardrobes and dorm room linens. They will remember these conversations – as will you. Remind yourself that not only are you concerned about them functioning on their own, they are as well. As long as they stay connected with you, you will remain an anchor as they navigate the fun and challenging waters of college life.
You’ll also face a new reality with your teenager off to college. While it may seem quieter – lots of thought and energy will be focused on the adjustment process for your entire family. The first visit home will be an exciting time. Be prepared for your relationship with your teenager to shift, in a positive way, to a more adult tone. Welcome and embrace it. This is an exciting time.