Surviving Freshman Year: 5 Tips to Help Prepare Your Child for the First Year of College

It’s about that time—back to school time—and if you’re a parent of a child who is either going off to college or staying home for college, you may be wondering what you can do to help with your child’s success. After all, the first year is the most difficult. It’s when students are most likely to drop out, and your child’s experiences this first year will go a long way in shaping how they succeed in college overall.

I feel I have a unique perspective to offer worrying parents. I was a college professor for nearly 20 years, and I specialized in teaching freshman writing courses. I have taught thousands of freshman! I’m also a mom, and my oldest just finished his first year of college. So I’ve learned a few things about the critical freshman year of college.

1. Know that your child will need some help with the bureaucracy of higher education. 

When my oldest started college last year, I was shocked at how the paperwork is even worse than it was when I was in college. When I was helping my son navigate the piles of paperwork and online forms last year, I was quite overwhelmed, and I have a PhD!

Know you’re likely going to have to help your child handle all the paperwork the first year. There are many hoops to jump through, and when you add the anxiety of starting college to the mix, it’s easy to see how younger students can struggle. Be prepared to step in and help with the paperwork, especially at first.

In fact, right now is the time to check to make sure financial aid is set, immunization forms are in, and health care forms are signed.

To read the full article, visit the Huffington Post.


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