Preparing Your Child for College Life


college life

Up until this point, your child has always lived with you. Over the past couple of decades, you have become used to seeing them almost every single day: cooking for them, picking them up and dropping them off to the places they need to be, helping them resolve problems and offering a shoulder to cry on when things get tough. In short, you have organised their lives and provided constant loving support. Some of these things will never change. You will always be there for your child. But it’s time for them to grow up, fly the nest and learn to stand on their own two feet. College will probably be the first time that they will experience living independently. It is important that you help them in this transition so that they can develop into the independent, strong person you know they are capable of being. Whether your child is moving to a different state, or just down the road, you need to help ensure that they settle into their new college life as quickly as possible. There a few ways to do this, which we will run through now.



It may be months until your child is due to pack their bags and leave, but it’s better to organise things sooner rather than later. There’s plenty that you can sort out well in advance.


Tuition fees and living costs should be settled on as soon as your child accepts a place at a college. But that isn’t the last of financial worries. You should ensure that they have a reliable student bank account set up. Different providers offer a whole variety of overdraft limits and interest-free lending periods, so shop around and find the best offer available.


How is your child going to get around when they get to their new home? Bus? Rail? Look up local travel networks and consider investing in rail cards or bus passes. Most networks will offer discounted rates for young people who can prove they are studying full time, so always make sure to ask. After all, every penny counts when you’re living on a college budget, right?


Living Essentials

Most student accommodation is furnished. But they generally won’t have much else. Your loved one is going to need basic things that they might not even think about coming up to moving out. Think of cutlery, bed sheets, toilet brushes. Everyday living essentials aren’t always the most exciting of things, but they are things that your child will need to live comfortably and cleanly. Understandably, the cost of these numerous small items mounts up. You might want to use coupons, which can be found on, to reduce the amount payable and make the whole process more affordable. As we’ve all learned from shows like Extreme Couponing, coupons (when used correctly) can cut the cost of your shopping dramatically.




Make sure that your child has all necessary identification documents on their person. You might be used to holding onto these for them so that they don’t lose them. But they are going to need them now that they will be living independently. You may also need college acceptance letters, enrolment details, accommodation booking confirmations and any other relevant receipts to make the process of enrolling and getting their keys as smooth as possible upon arrival.


Some students like to travel light, leaving most of their personal belongings back home. But the majority will want to take the majority of their things with them. You probably won’t be able to get all of this in your regular family car. So consider hiring a van or using a removal service. You don’t want their belongings getting damaged or broken in transit, and you also don’t want to take multiple trips back and forth to get them moved in properly.


Travel early in the morning, so you have a full day to help your child unpack. If left to their own devices, they will probably end up living out of boxes and suitcases for weeks; most will choose to go out and socialise over creating their nest.


Saying Goodbye

This is going to be the hardest part. Your child is flying the nest and emotions might run high. Consider going for a celebratory dinner in their hometown. Let them know how proud you are of them. There might be a couple of tears, but not to worry. You can visit at near enough anytime, and they’ll be home for the holidays.

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