When your child is nearing his or her graduation from high school, you probably feel a mix of emotions. You likely are battling the pride of all he or she has accomplished, the amazement that time has gone by so quickly, the worry about all he or she will encounter when moving away to college and the bittersweet ache of your baby having grown up.
But just because your baby is going off to college doesn’t mean your role as a parent has stopped. You can help your young adult prepare for college with some life lessons and the right tools.
Laptop or Tablet
When it comes to college, technology has become a mainstay part of the experience. When helping your teen prepare, take a look at what devices he or she already has and if the university has any recommendations. A laptop is usually a necessity for writing papers and taking notes in class. They are also useful for anything that needs more processing power such as videos, photos, lab assignments and group video chats.
On the other hand, a tablet can also be a good investment. Lightweight tablets like the iPad Mini are easy to transport around campus and can be used to take notes in class and to download ebooks. Many textbooks are now available in digital forms, which can save your child from having to lug books around campus or having to pack them when he or she comes home to visit. And even better, some ebooks are much cheaper than print textbooks, which can be a big help when trying to afford college.
Once you’ve figured out which devices to equip your child with, look into some of the most popular study and productivity apps. For example,Chegg Flashcards let your student create flashcard and add images or diagrams. Instead of wasting valuable time handwriting flash cards (and having to stock up physical flash cards and pens), this app offers a quick, effective way to study. How to Study is another resource that can help your child master time management, study skills and other parts of college life.
Your teen is likely to feel a little bewildered when first setting foot on campus. Your job is to continue supporting him or her. Consider typing up a list of resources for him or her to take to school that includes names of blogs or other online resources that give tips for adjusting to college life. For example, the SleepBot app can track the quality of his or her sleep and send a gentle reminder of how important rest is to his or her health and school success.
As you walk alongside your student as he or she prepares for life outside of your home, it’s normal for you both to feel a bit anxious. Just be sure to spend time together, talk through any concerns and offer suggestions and advice as necessary.
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