When your teen is preparing to leave for college, the saying ‘they grow up so fast’ really starts to hit home. Some of those teenage years may even have been quite turbulent, and you are perhaps both looking forward to having your own space. Yet, it is still a wrench to say goodbye to somebody who will no longer be living under your roof after almost 20 years; and the fact that they will be back regularly (probably just to empty your refrigerator and with bag loads of washing) is scant comfort.
However, this is not about you. This is about their first big adventure, so you need to consider some important things to make sure it all goes as smoothly as possible, and they get their time at college off to a great start.
Make sure their finances are in order
It’s no secret that going to college is an expensive business. So, if your teen is going to make it through without saddling themselves with more debt than necessary, they’re going to have to be mindful of what they’re spending.
If your teen has already proved to be slightly financially chaotic, then this may be a difficult conversation to have. However, it may well have benefits for both of you as the teen settles into their new life and the harsh realities of not having the ‘bank of Mom and Dad’ so readily to hand sinks in.
Getting their possessions there safely
There is very little chance that everything that your teen needs to get off to the right start at college is going to fit in the back of a car, despite how many more times you try to make it happen. There’s probably little point in cramming everything into one vehicle if you can simply hire a man and a van from a reputable company who is not only experienced in doing man with a van work, but fully insured.
A man with a van might seem a little more expensive than trying to do it yourself, but any damage sustained to either your teen’s possessions (or more likely the suspension of your car) would be more expensive to replace, so it could be money well-spent.
Think about what they’re going to eat
As well as financial worries, you will no doubt be wondering what on earth your teen is going to eat now that they are not under your roof anymore. They will quickly find that eating out at fast food joints like they did while they were living at home isn’t a practical solution every day.
So, it might be worth sitting down with them and going over a few basic recipes that are easy to prepare and can be cooked in bulk. This is useful if your teen has access to a refrigerator or freezer, so they have access to healthy meals if they need them, and you have the peace of mind that your teen is not going without.