5 Ways To Prepare Your Teen For College - NBC Southern California

1. Give them the tools for success

You don't want your grad to get to school on move-in day and find they are unprepared. From living essentials like bedding, toiletries, and cleaning supplies to other necessities like batteries, a reading light, snacks, there's a lot to remember. Don't forget school supplies - you'll surely need notebooks, pens, paper clips, laptop cases, and a good printer like the Epson EcoTank, a cartridge-free printer with up to two years of ink in the Box. Construct a detailed shopping list so you can record your college supply shopping progress.

2. Encourage your child to explore potential fields of study

Talk to your child about their different interests and the potential fields of study they might want to pursue. Offer advice and guidance where you can, but remember these are their decisions. Positive ways to help your child on their academic journey are to introduce them to adults working in their fields of interest, help coordinate opportunities to shadow working professionals, and organize volunteer experience in a specific sector.

3. Trust your child to make wise social decisions

It's important to educate your child about the consequences of their actions, and to talk about safety, especially as it relates to alcohol, drugs, and sex. However, now that they're heading off to school, trust that you've raised them well, and that they will make careful, wise choices in their social lives.

4. Encourage them to build strong peer support networks

Maybe for the first time, your child will be living away from the family and support networks they've always had. At school, they should be aware what services are available to them -- from mental health counseling to peer advising. Equally as important, encourage them to build strong connections with their peers so they have support in their home away from home.

5. Teach them how to do their laundry

Before your child heads to school, make sure they know how to do their own laundry. More importantly, get them into the habit of doing it on their own for a couple of weeks before they're at school and can no longer ask parents for help. Knowing they've mastered the art of keeping clean clothes will be one less thing to stress about for both you and your child.