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5 Ways to Prepare Your Child for College

Wasn’t it just yesterday you were watching your child climb the school bus steps for first grade? Now you’re watching the car back out the driveway for senior year. In a blink of an eye it will be college move-in day!

Have you prepared your child for the transition? Here are some tips to consider when preparing your child for college:

Hire an Independent College Consultant/Coach

Being in college is stressful, but what about getting into college? It’s common to feel confusion, fear, and anxiety for both you the parent, and your child during the college admission process.

Where do you start? What questions do you ask? Hiring an independent consultant takes those feelings of uncertainty away. Plus, teenagers are often more willing to listen to someone who isn’t their parent! Teens receive valuable advice and instruction from a college coach, while parents can have a peace of mind knowing someone is advocating for their child.

Discuss what it’s like to live with another person

Roommates make the college experience extra memorable — they can become great friends, or they can add to your child’s stress. Use different situations at home to chat about the compromises it takes to live with someone else. (For example, how will they divide cleaning duties? Are overnight guests allowed? What time will you go to bed?) Encourage your child to reach out to their new roommate(s) before move-in day. Make sure to highlight the importance of being open and honest from the start. Setting ground rules can help keep everyone on the same page.

Many colleges have incoming students fill out a questionnaire before assigning them a roommate. Questions might include: Are you morning or night person? Do you like to keep the room spotless, or are you okay with disorder? Questions like these will help make sure that your child will be put with someone with similar characteristics.

Provide an Example of a Healthy Schedule

It’s easy to become overwhelmed in college with trying to balance a social life and academic life. If they have displayed poor time management in high school, it’s extra critical to stress the importance of scheduling in college! There are many types of physical planners to try as well as apps such as Google Calendar or Evernote.

Practicing self care during the college years can help set young men and women up for success once they enter the workplace. Offer ideas on how your child can care for their mental, emotional, and physical health.

Talk About Eating and Fitness Goals

The Freshman 15 is a real struggle. Convenient foods are rarely healthy, and college students are all about quick and easy solutions! Plus, not everyone knows how to read their body’shunger cues. If you haven’t already, spend some time showing your teen how to prep quick healthy food options. Consider sending them care packages with nutritious snacks!

It’s also a good idea to discuss ways to stay fit — from walking to class, to joining the student gym, to doing at-home exercises.

Prepare Them For Basic Housekeeping Tasks

Your child is now in complete ownership of their belongings — no one else will make their bed or fold their laundry! Simple tasks like separating lights from darks, dusting, and sweeping can be easily overlooked by a first-time resident. Teaching simple housekeeping tips will help your child stay in control of their space. Organized spaces keep stress levels down.


This article is sponsored by Dianne Keilholtz, owner of Launching College Success. Keilholtz is a college consultant in the Frederick area with over 30 years of experience in supporting families and students through the admission process. She emphasizes finding college that are a good match for the students goals and success. Focusing in on affordability and financial aid, Dianne supports students in finding and securing scholarships as well as writing quality essays.