Its time to send your baby off to college, and there is a lot of preparation to do! Not only will they be working on academics, they will be working on real life! Your kid may be ready to fly the coop, and you are not sure they are as prepared as you might like. Having an organized approach will make for an A+ transition!
- Talk through the college day with your student. No longer will they be going to one spot all day long. What will their day be like? Help them write up a schedule that will work for them, taking into account their class times, and their high energy times.
- Help them set up a planner that will work for them. Getting started in college is where real life time management begins. Having a great week at a glance planner in paper or technology will be the first step in making real decisions about their time, their priorities and their schedules. Record all the day’s details in their planner so they can see just how busy they are. Using their phone is a great option since it is with them all the time, they can set reminders and recurring events, and they can check it whenever and wherever. You can also recommended a toodledoo or notes for reminders on tasks.
- Paper is a reality for college kids. Help them set up a small filing system in a file box for their important papers such as enrollment documents. Encourage them to pay bills online and use ways to eliminate paper as much as possible. For their class notes and more, what will work best for them? Spiral notebooks, pads, or ??? As long as their system works, that is what is most important.
- The realities of dorm living mean two kids in a space about the same size as their bathroom at home. Consolidating, communicating and coordinating are key components to getting along in a small space. Encourage your student to do all of these in a positive, open and honest way for sharing a living space. Storage is always at a premium. Look for creative ways to maximize the space you have and use labeled uniform bins to store less frequently used items.
- Container Store has an amazing array of options for dorm life. Visit their site at http://www.containerstore.com/college/index.html. My favorites are their laundry baskets, a must for toting dirty clothes. I love that you can shop visually to think through the options and what your needs are for your space.
- Encourage your kids to rely on their strengths and core values. They are entering a time when there is a lot of new information and lots to think about. When they rely on their true strengths, they are most comfortable with their decisions. Core values like tenacity, honesty, creativity, and determination all make for college success.
- Keep communication going with the home front. Our kids will “fondly” remember that Sunday was the day to call home! Having one day to be sure to touch base, even in this time of texting, makes it a little easier on everyone.
- Parents can forever seem like worriers, but encourage them to keep safety in mind. Have a flashlight, jumper cables and a real first aid kit in their car. Just in case!
How is your organizing coming for your best college year yet?