They have made it! Your student(s) has successfully completed the high school years and are looking forward to their first year of college life. They are so excited, but you may be more nervous than excited. You may be a but anxious about your “baby” heading off to the fresh air of the college campus. Even if they are staying locally, college life is a whole new world. And you, as the parent, have a whole new role. So here are some parent survival tips for those with college freshman
Parent Tip #1: Remember you are not forgotten.
The number one concern parents have about their child entering college life is losing touch with their student. And it makes sense that this is a concern. For the past 18-19 years, the parent has been right there for every major event in the life of their student. But now, there is a strange separation. You should celebrate your child maturing into an adult. But sometimes this separation causes a great deal of anxiety. So remember, you are not forgotten, but you should take deliberate steps to stay connected. That brings us to the second of our Parent Survival Tips.
Parent Tip #2: Remember to stay Connected
The number one way you stay connected with your student while they are in college is to communicate with them. This may be a bit tricky because college schedules can get crazy. However, you can find time. Many families choose to have a specific time that they connect with their child. You can schedule time on the calendar before it gets taken by classes, study, work or party time.
Also, you need to know that once your child enters college, their privacy is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). You should familiarize yourself with the the particulars of this law. FERPA was designed to protect the private information of the college student. You as the parent(s)/guardian(s) have to ask for permission to view this information. Here is how the law reads, “schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record.” So make sure you and your student sign the pertinent documentation if you would like access to this school information.
Parent Tip #3: Remember to evaluate the plan
The third of our Parent Survival Tips is to evaluate the plan. As you connect with your student, make sure you evaluate your college financial plan. If you are wise, you and your student has developed a college financial plan. You will need to include all the income and spending plans for the semester/year. Then evaluate this plan on a monthly basis. It does not need to be a thorough evaluation, but rather a check-up. For many students this is the first time they will need to be concerned with a budget. Financial planning is an important lesson your child will learn during their college life.
We are sure there are many other parent survival tips that you will learn over the coming months. Be sure to comment below to share some of your favorite parent survival tips.