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Letting Go

Your student has been accepted to college. Time to heave a sigh of relief? Not so fast. Settling into college life is a process in itself, and your child will need your guidance to get through it successfully.

First things first:

  • You may want to see communications regarding tuition and grades that will be sent directly to your student. For that to happen, have your student sign a waiver of FERPA rights with the registrar's office.

  • Make sure that your child submits forms regarding housing choices, meal plans, roommate preferences and course registration on time.

  • Health Insurance is required for every student on campus. If you don't need it, be sure to waive the school insurance or you will be charged for it.

Prepare your child:

  • Learn to let your child make decisions--what courses to take, what clubs to join, etc.

  • Promote self-advocacy. This is a time for your child to learn how to ask for what he needs. The days of your running interference are over.

  • Emphasize that your student live a healthy life both socially and physically.

  • Agree on the minimum number times that you will speak or Skype weekly or monthly. Regular communication helps prevent difficult situations from festering.

  • Will your child have a checking account, debit card, or credit card? Make sure that limits are clear so that your student doesn’t find him/herself overdrawn.

Prepare yourself:

  • Your child will most likely be homesick. Stay calm. Time usually solves this problem.

  • Be upbeat when you speak to your child. He has enough adjustments to make without worrying about home.

  • And get ready for a change in majors. It's probably going to happen.

It's not easy to kick your baby out of the nest, but with a little planning and steady communication, it should turn out fine.

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