Any parent knows that the territory comes with certain hardships and burdens they wouldn’t wish on anybody. Pregnancy, giving birth, raising a toddler, and trying to manage a full-time job while raising children are some of the most memorable experiences for many parents. Still, as children age, empty nest syndrome is equally challenging. While having your children go to college is a great accomplishment, it also leaves you alone. Use this short guide to sending your child off to college to help ease the transition.
Look for Colleges Together
Before applying to college, your child needs to know what options are available. Although this is ultimately their decision, you should take some time to look for colleges with them. This school could be your own alma mater where you want to continue a family legacy or someplace you feel your child would excel. No matter what, these schools should have the right program for your child and their academic interests. Also, keep in mind size, student to faculty ratio, city or town, and financial aid when selecting a school.
Help Them Apply
College applications are probably one of the scariest things for any high school senior. Don’t be afraid to help them out. Guide them through each step to make their application personal, intricate, and well-written—just don’t do the work for them. If you didn’t go to college or cannot help them with the application, consider using a college admissions counseling service. They make college applications easy with personalized instruction and guidance.
Move Them Out
After your child selects and applies to various colleges, wait until they’ve heard back. It can take a few weeks to a few months to hear back about college applications. After your child’s been accepted, the next step in this guide to sending your child off to college is to move them out. Despite some parents sending their children off to college by themselves, we recommend making your child’s experience personal. Help them through this major transition. Drive them out to their school, walk around campus, visit some local restaurants, then move them into their dorm. Your child will remember the experience.
Give Them Space but Don’t Forget Them
Finally, once they’re settled in, and you’re safely back home, do your best to give your child their respected space. While you don’t need to completely stop talking to them, do give them the chance to live life on their own. After all, they’re college students now. Still, that doesn’t mean you should forget them. College students love care packages. Send your child a personalized package of snacks, games, and a heartfelt greeting card. They’ll cherish it for a while.