Oct 11 2023

Expert Advice for Preparing Your Child for College


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Making the decision to send your child off to college is a big one, and it's natural to feel like you want to do everything you can to help them succeed.


While there's no guarantee of success, there are some things you can do as a parent to help your child prepare for college and give them the best chance at having a successful experience.


Here are some expert tips on how you can help your child get ready for college and insight into auto insurance for a child away at college.

#1 – Talk to Your Child About Their Goals and What They Want to Achieve


Having clear goals and objectives in your college career is an important part of ensuring success. Take some time to talk with your child about their ambitions and the ways college can help them reach those aspirations. The importance of mindset in success cannot be overstated. 


Remind them how college offers exciting opportunities, providing students with access to knowledge and guidance from mentors that can set them on the path towards achieving their goals.


Helping your child explore ideas, think through options, and create realistic plans will be beneficial as they move through their college years.


College represents a significant milestone and it's important they take the time to consider their future objectives and set themselves up for success.

#2 – Help Them Choose the Right Courses 


Picking courses for school can be an overwhelming task for students, and as a teacher or mentor, it is important to support them in finding the best options for their individual pursuits.


Here are some things to consider when helping them decide:


  • What classes align with their goals? Help them take into account their future plans such as potential collegiate studies or trade pathways.
  • What classes are required?  Be sure they understand the academic expectations and fulfill any prerequisites.
  • What classes fit their personality? Take the time to get to know your young student's particular passions, aptitudes, likes, dislikes and challenge points when considering their academic-education choices.
  • What classes will they enjoy?  Explore the possibilities of classes that can engage them and help them discover new interests. Support your child in understanding the importance of getting good grades.


By understanding their needs on a more personal level, they will gain greater confidence in selecting courses that will fulfill requirements while also engaging their academic interests.

#3 – Encourage Them to Get Involved in Extracurricular Activities


Extracurricular activities give children and teens a chance to widen their social networks, have fun, develop new skills, and even make a difference in the world.


School-based extracurricular activities can come in the form of sporting clubs, debate or chess societies, or after-school art classes. Outside of school, there are plenty of exciting options from music tuition to volunteering opportunities.


Getting involved in extracurricular activities also enables young people to become more independent and take on more responsibility. This is an invaluable experience that will be useful when they venture into adulthood.


Encouraging young people to get involved with different kinds of extracurricular activities has so many benefits, making it worth emphasizing whenever possible.

#4 – Teach Them How to Budget Their Time and Money (Including Any Auto Insurance Fees)


Helping your child budget their time and money when they go away to college can be a daunting task.


If this is their first experience budgeting, encourage them to track things like:


  • Gas money 
  • Grocery expenses 
  • Miscellaneous entertainment costs 
  • Tuition bills  

This will provide them with resources to help them organize and track their expenses. 


Make sure they understand how to use credit cards responsibly, as well as how to invest in a retirement plan.

Budgeting for Auto Insurance


Their first foray into budgeting could be especially difficult if you're planning on introducing some adult expenses into their lives like auto insurance premiums. However, this is a time when many parents opt to do just that.


In order to help make sure they are getting the most out of their college experience, it is important to encourage them to create a budget that includes auto insurance fees if they will be away many miles from home.


Taking the time upfront to find the auto insurance rates and coverage in the area where your child will be attending school can make sure they are getting the most value for your (or their) money while still receiving adequate auto insurance protection.


Teaching your child these behaviors now can set them up for successful financial management in their future life.

#5 – Make Sure They Stay Healthy 


It can be difficult for young people to keep their health in check with all of the demands of school, their social lives, and their extracurricular activities. However, it’s important to ensure they are eating right and getting enough exercise to stay healthy.


When coming up with a plan, start small and try to come up with achievable goals that will fit into their weekly routines. For example, they could commit to drinking eight cups of water a day or walking for thirty minutes several days a week.


Once they get used to these routines, then it'll be easier for them to increase the intensity or duration until they reach their desired level of health.


With regular reminders and support from family and friends, young adults can easily establish healthy habits that will lead them down the path toward a healthier lifestyle, which can also reduce their life insurance costs.

#6 – Check in With Them Regularly

Taking time to check in with your friends, family, and loved ones is incredibly important. Checking in regularly, whether with a weekly call or text message, demonstrates to them you care and allows them to open up and share their thoughts with you.


Offering your support during these conversations shows you are there for them no matter what, providing them with invaluable emotional support. Doing this might take some extra effort on your part, but it can make all the difference in your child’s life.

Is your child ready for college life?


College is a time for your child to grow and learn in many different ways. There are certainly plenty of decisions that every college student will have to make. As a parent, you can help them by supporting their goals, teaching them how to budget their time and money, and encouraging them to stay healthy.


Remember to check in with your child regularly to see how they are doing and offer your support. With your help, they will be able to make the most of their college experience.

Luke Williams writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. His passions include insurance and helping parents guide their children through college.

Tags: Preparing Your Child for College