College Dorm Room Checklist

Ensure that your kid doesn’t miss out on any dorm room essentials

It’s natural that you want your college kid to have everything they need to make their dorm room feel like home. However, college dorm supplies must be chosen selectively since space is at a premium. Preparing a dorm room checklist ahead of time is a great way for your kid to figure out what to bring and what to leave at home. Our checklist will make sure your college kid has all the dorm room essentials for campus living.

1) College Dorm Bedding/Bathing/Toiletries

Packing essential personal items is key to your college kid being comfortable in their new dorm. Bedding is high up on the list of college dorm essentials.  The other major necessities for dorm room living are toiletries and bathing items. Basically, all the items your college kid uses at home should be available in their dorm room. Many of these items can be purchased after arrival to save space during the move.

-Pillows

-2 sets of twin-sized sheets (check to see if your dorm room requires extra long sheets)

-Comforter

-Mattress cover and pad

-Set of towels

-Shower soap

-Shampoo

-Shaving products

-Hair care products

-Hair dryer

-Comb/brush

-Curling iron/straightener

-Deodorant

-Dental supplies

-Medical supplies (Band-Aids, eye drops, etc.)

-Medications (prescription, OTC for headaches, allergy, etc.)

2) Clothing

College dorm life is such that your college kid is unlikely to wash their clothing frequently, so they should carry at least two weeks’ worth, keeping in mind that space for clothes is often limited within a dorm room. One great tip is to bring warm weather clothing initially, then switch them out for winter wear when the weather gets chilly. The process can be reversed during spring. Here’s a list of dorm room clothing essentials:

- Professional/formal outfit

-2 weeks of socks and underwear

-2 weeks of climate appropriate clothing

-Loungewear

-Athletic clothing & bathing suit

-Jackets for all weather conditions

-Winter wear (gloves, knit hat, etc.)

-Several pairs of shoes (athletic and dress, and flip flops for dorm room/shower)

-Hangers

-Wash Basket

-Drying Rack

-Detergent

-Dryer Sheets

3) Electronics/Appliances

When it comes to electronics, a computer system is important, as your college kid will do most of their work on it. Collaboration between dorm roommates can be good for electronics, as there may not be a need for multiple TVs or mini-fridges. Many schools have combo mini-fridges/microwaves for rent, which can save room when transporting college dorm supplies in the car. Some other electronic dorm room ideas include:

-Power strip

-Laptop

-Printer

-Television

-Videogame system

-DVD player

-Mp3 player

-Cell phone

-Device chargers

-Fan

-Fridge/microwave

-Lamp/desk lamp

-Clock

4) School Supplies – There are some college dorm essentials your college kid will require to handle the academic side of college. The following dorm room ideas for school supplies can be picked up at one go, either online or at back-to-school sales:

-Pencils

-Pens

-Highlighters

-Paper

-Notebooks

-Scissors

-Stapler

-Post-its

-Message Board

-Calculator

-Tape

-Art supplies

-Printer paper & ink

-Book bag

5) College Dorm Decorations – When it comes to dorm room ideas, another good area for collaboration is decoration. Your college kid and their roommate should work together to figure out what college dorm decorations go on the dorm room checklist. Dorm room décor is important to help make your college kid feel at home. A few items to bring for college dorm decoration:

-Posters

-Rugs

-Photographs

-Artwork

-Mirror

-Lights

6) Misc

Here are some other things that can go on the dorm room checklist depending on the amount of space in the dorm room and your child’s preferences:

-Desk chair

-Futon

-Blanket

-Flashlight/batteries

-Games & cards

-Cleaning supplies

-Disinfectant wipes

-Storage crates

-Utensils & eating supplies

-Trash bags

-Air freshener

-Umbrella

-Sporting equipment

Tips for College Parents: Keep the Connection Alive with Your College Student

When your child officially leaves for college, it’s hard to imagine what a life altering event that will be. After months of evaluation, planning, selecting a school, stocking up on supplies and finally moving them in—reality hits you over the head.

Sending your child to college – How this college parent dealt with the transition

Len, a university dad, sat down with me to share his experiences and some things that helped him stay connected to his two sons while they were away at school. Here’s what he had to say about the transition from a high school to a college parent:

It’s a whole new world for the student and the parents:  All of a sudden, there’s no parental supervision. Peers become the influence. You don’t know where your kid is or what they’re doing. Everything they do is decided by them.”

According to Len, cell phones seem to lose their signal strength at college, because sometimes, your child will just be impossible to reach. There are many things that compete for a student’s attention—and it’s difficult to deal with the thought that talking to Mom or Dad is not a top priority—maybe not even in the top 5!

The truth is that going away to college is as much about learning how to deal with life as it is about getting good grades. That’s where Len said it’s hard for parents to let go and watch their son or daughter make mistakes, suffer the consequences, and most importantly, learn from them:

As difficult as it is to step back, I believe the best way for a parent to stay a part
of the student’s life is to let them experience their new freedom and
responsibility without too much hand-holding
.”

 

Tips for parents on how to deal with your kid going away to college

I put together a short list of tips Len mentioned that helped him stay part of his college kid’s life without annoying them (too much). Maybe there’s something here you can pull from:

Print out their schedule. In order to avoid stalking your college kid with too many phone calls or messages, print out their class schedule and add in any other things they tell you  about like, “I usually go to the library after class on Thursday’s,” or “I have practice on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5-7.” Then…

 

Refer to the printout often. Cell phones record missed calls, so your kid will know if you just tried calling them five times in the last hour. If you call when you think they’re available, it’ll save you both a headache.

 

Plan a visit around an activity. Nothing takes the place of a visit, where you get the chance to experience the kind of environment your student is living in, their friends, activities, etc. Consider planning your visit around game day or something fun. Many college’s have a parents’ weekend with fun events to do with your college kid on and off campus.

 

Respect their weekend nights. College students value their Saturday nights more than almost anything, so college parents should try not to cut into that precious time. However, parents’ weekends are the exception to this tip.

 

Do you have any tips to share? Let’s hear them.

Leadership Can Be Learned in College Student Development Programs

College Student Leadership Development Programs – to encourage leadership qualities in your kid and help them achieve greater success.

When listing qualities that help facilitate personal success, few would argue that leadership abilities are among the most important. Many organizations cite a lack of leadership qualities amongst their employees as a common problem, and some even place the blame for the recent economic recession on a lack of effective leaders in corporate America.

Leadership, unfortunately, is not an innate skill for many. Often, it must be learned and carefully nurtured. There are few better places to learn leadership, than during college, where a number of student leadership development programs are available. Your college kid can greatly benefit from working on their leadership abilities, while at school.

Student Development Theory

Student development theory is the collection of scientific concepts about how college students gain knowledge and evolve their personality while at a post-secondary institution. Part of this theory holds that students at college learn not only academics, but also about life and human nature. They develop their own personal characteristics for navigating the world. Chief among these important personal skills are leadership abilities.

Leadership abilities provide a framework for personal interactions and enable a student to take on responsibility. As a parent, you should encourage your college kid to join a leadership development organization at his or her school.

Student Leadership Development on College Campuses

Student leadership development programs for college students were not widely available prior to the 1990s, as there was little opportunity provided on campuses. However, recent theories hold that cultivation of leadership is important throughout the entire college environment. In the last 25 years, this increased focus on encouraging leadership during college has led to a growing number of available opportunities for students, who are interested in college student leadership development.

Leadership itself is offered as a major at some colleges, like the University of Richmond. Other schools offer a leadership minor or leadership certifications. Some have classes dedicated to leadership skills, while others have on-campus organizations that foster leadership. The student development center at many colleges may also offer free leadership programs for all students. Your college kid should do some investigating to see what is available at his or her campus.

Even in the event that there are no leadership specific options at their school, your college kid is not out of luck. Student activities and leadership often go hand in hand. There are no doubt a number of on-campus organizations available for your student to join. Many have opportunities for leadership, and teach the skills needed to become adept at the craft. Charitable and scholarly organizations tend to be the best option for this, but clubs and social organizations also provide the chance for college student leadership development.

Importance of College Student Leadership Skills

Learning and mastering the skills of being a good leader can make your kid a better, more rounded individual. The learning process instructs them on how to take charge of situations and opportunities, which in turn helps them become more confident and assertive. With leadership skills being in high demand in the job market, your student’s ability to demonstrate leadership abilities during a job interview can be key to getting hired.

However, leadership is not just vital to professional success. It also encourages positive personal characteristics, and is beneficial to society as a whole. Leadership training gives rise to the kind of people who are able to affect a positive change in society.

Studies show that people with leadership skills are more likely to take part in the community, to volunteer and work towards changing the status quo. College student development programs that teach open, socially responsible leadership also portend good things for the future, as the current generation of students are tomorrow’s leaders.

Have you had any talks with your college kid about them getting involved in a leadership development program? If you have a son or daughter that took one, did they find it valuable? Leave a comment below and let other parents know what you think!

Have Fun & Get It Done: Should You Let Your Teen Get a Job Their Freshmen Year of College?

Yes, let them get a job or internship. Make sure that it seems like something fun to do. Not only is your student going to manage their time better, they’re going to make a little extra cash on the side, meet new people, and possibly make new friends.

In my freshman year, my mom did not want me to work. She worked full-time while going to school full-time and did not want me to have the same pressure or stress that she did. While I appreciated her concern and care for me, when I finally got a part-time job, I noticed that I was still able to get everything else done, AND I was making money, meeting new people, and managing my life better because I had less time to fart around.  I actually felt less stressed.

Why is it important that your teen gets an internship or job?

  • If your teen gets an internship, they will be gaining valuable work experience in the field that they want to go into; or they may find out that the field they want to go into sucks and they can’t see themselves doing that job for 30 years, let alone two weeks.
  • It’s a great way for your teen to avoid spending all their time and energy (and your money) on something only to realize AFTER they have the degree that they’re going to hate the job. It’s easy to change their major, but it’s impossible to change the degree once you have it. With that said, I majored in Geography and Environmental Studies and now I own a business and I am an author. It’s okay to get a degree and go in a completely opposite direction too.
  • They can help lighten the moola load and cover some of their personal expenses, instead of constantly asking you for extra cash.

So what do you think?  Are you going to let your student work their first quarter/semester of college? Make your comments below.

College Packing Checklist for Guys

Work on a list with your son to make packing for college easier

It’s the summer before your son leaves for school for the first time, and you’re not quite sure what he’ll need for dorm living. If he’s like any first time college kid, he’ll want to bring his entire room with him when packing for college. While that’s not feasible due to space constraints, you need to include enough items to ensure that his dorm room feels like home. Our ultimate college dorm packing list will help ensure that your son has all the things he needs to jump head first into school.

Clothes

Clothes are a major item when packing for college. Limited space makes clothing choices for college packing a balancing act. One good strategy is to bring more warm weather clothing at first, and then switch it out for cool weather clothing at Thanksgiving. This switch can then be reversed during spring break.

If your son is like most college students, he will rarely do laundry, so it’s a good idea to bring extra socks and underwear-at a minimum, at least two weeks’ worth of clothing. A warm jacket is a must, as is a suit or nice outfit for formals, internship interviews, and anything else that might come up. Put multiple pairs of shoes on the college packing checklist, including a set of dress shoes and Flip flops for the dorm showers.

Bedding

Two sets of twin sized sheets, a good warm blanket, and several pillows are essential bedding items on the college packing list. A mattress cover is also a good idea, as many dorm mattresses have been in use for years. A mattress pad could also help if your college student finds his bed uncomfortable.

Personal Supplies

Other than a good set of towels, most personal hygiene supplies are best left off the “Bring from Home” college checklist. Personal hygiene items can be found easily in your son’s college town, and are not worth the precious car space. However, once you have your son moved into his dorm room, it’s a good idea to take him shopping for these items, as well as any food stuff he may need. Personal items, you don’t want to forget, include toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, shaving supplies, bath soap, and a container of hand sanitizer.

Electronics/Appliances

Your son’s computer and printer are the most important electronic items on the college packing checklist. Undoubtedly, a television, video game system, mp3 player, and smart phone are must haves as well. A mini-fridge and microwave can give your son some freedom from the school cafeteria. Check with the college; many universities offer microwave/fridge combos for rent that will save you some space when packing for college. Bring a fan for warm days if your son’s dorm is without air conditioning. Also remember to add a clock to your checklist. Your son will have many places to be, and it’s important that he be there on time!

Items for School

Like personal hygiene items, most school supplies are best left off the initial packing checklist. These things can easily be found at school once your student is moved in. An exception could be text books, which are frequently cheaper online than at student bookstores. Before you head home, don’t forget to take your son shopping for basic school supplies, such as notebooks, folders or binders, pens, highlighters, a calculator and any necessary art supplies.

Other

There are a few other items you may consider adding to your college checklist. If your son enjoys athletics, be sure to bring his sporting equipment. Storage crates or shelving are great for holding some of his miscellaneous possessions. Posters, a rug, and other decorations will make the room feel homier. Condoms are a smart addition to any college packing list.

When making up a college packing list, it’s always best for your son to consult and collaborate with his roommate. Considering the amount of space in the room is also a good idea when putting items on the checklist. When your college student has everything they need for college, it will make the transition easier for them and give you peace of mind.

Save Money by Graduating a Year Early

Some of you are probably thinking, “Why would I want my kid to graduate a year early?  I want them to get the full college experience”. Or you might be thinking, “Saving money sounds great but would my kid even want to graduate early?  Could they even handle it?”

Here are some questions to ask yourself

  • With the average number of years its takes to graduate college increasing, is spending an extra $20,000, $50,000 or $80,000 going to affect you or your kids future?
  • If the three year plan doesn’t sound appealing do you, would it be nice to at least have your kid graduate on time?

You Can Save a Year’s Worth of Tuition and Expenses by Graduating a Year Early (approx. $12,000 – $80,000)

Each year adds on a year of tuition costs, books and room and board.  Now if you’ve got a lot of scholarships or financial aid, then this isn’t as much of a big deal.  But it is if you don’t have the luxury of an all (or most) expenses paid education.  One of the main motivators for me to graduate early was to save my mom a year of tuition in school.

Even though my mom was a single parent and I qualified for Cal grants for Cal State Universities, I didn’t qualify for any financial aid from UCLA.  Can you tell I am still a little peeved about that?  I felt a little guilty for dropping a full ride at another university to go to the “better name” school and costing my mom all that money.  To help her out, I wanted to graduate early to save her at least a year’s worth of college expenses since I could have saved her four years with my free ride.  I know that she was happy to write that check to UCLA because she was going to get that piece of paper confirming my BA degree at the end of it.  It made me feel better knowing I was helping her out. 

You might be in a similar situation where you are just on the cusp of not qualifying for financial aid.  I can feel your pain and worry.  I suggest you check out Phillip Lew’s website (www.totalcollegesolutions.com).  If you combine graduating early with getting more financial aid, you could save a lot of money and possibly lighten the student loan burden.

When I decided to graduate early at the end of my sophomore year in college, I was NOT on the 3 year track.  I was barely taking the minimum full time 12 unit requirements and I was so stressed out I broke out in hives and eczema all over my body.  The fall of my junior year I took 26 units.  I don’t know what bug flew up my butt.  I was stressed with 12 units, why not kill myself with 26 units.  In that year, I discovered how to utilize my values and priorities and break the rules of traditional time management.  My grades increased (they were already good), my stress significantly decreased, and I had FUN.   I wish I figured that all out in my first two years of college.  I want all students and parents to have the tool box they need to succeed and be happy as soon as possible so you can have the best college experience, whether it is 3 years, 4 years, or more.

NOTE:

Not all colleges offer a block tuition – a flat tuition fee – no matter how many units you take.  However, most private schools and popular state schools like UCLA do.  More colleges and universities are converting to this method.  Check to see if it is offered at your school and take advantage of it.

Have any questions?  Comments?  I’d love to hear from you.  Write them in the comment box below and I will be sure to answer you.

Excerpts taken from the award-winning book, Have Fun & Get It Done: Graduate From a Top University in 3 Years or Less Without Being a Genius.

Jenée Dana is the Chief Focusing Officer of myfocusbook.com. Her book debuted on Amazon as a #1 Best Seller and received the Gold Medal for Non-Fiction Education from the Readers Favorite International Book Awards.

College packing checklist for girls

Make sure your kid has everything she’ll need for college

As your daughter prepares to begin her freshman year in college, you need to make sure she packs the right things to bring to college so that the transition from her bedroom to her dorm room is as smooth as possible. If this is your first time sending a kid off to college, you may find the packing for college process quite challenging. Relax! We’ve put together a college packing list for freshman girls to ease the stress of this big move for you and your daughter.

College packing list for girls

Sending your daughter off to college can be hassle-free with this ultimate college packing list for freshman girls. Our comprehensive college packing checklist covers all the items that your daughter will probably need, from personal supplies to dorm room supplies to classroom supplies.

Here’s a college packing list of essential items that your daughter will want to pack:

Personal supplies

  • Clothes - The number and kind of clothes your daughter plans to pack will probably depend on the weather conditions in her college, your budget, how often she plans to do laundry and the size of her closet. That said; do not forget essentials such as hangers, belts, underwear (at least 10 sets), socks, scarves, pajamas and a weather proof jacket. A pair of ballet flats or sandals, two sets of sneakers-1 regular and 1 fancy and a pair of evening shoes should be a sufficient amount of footwear.
  • Bedding- 2 to 3 sets of extra-long twin sheets, pillowcases, a memory foam mattress pad and a quilt.
  • Toiletries- Other than your daughter’s regular make-up, skin and hair care items, essentials such as a small mirror, nail clippers, nail file, tweezers and wet wipes will come in handy.  Be sure to pack bath time essentials such as toilet paper, bath and hand towels, a shower caddy, soap dish, bathrobe and flip-flops.
  • Kits- A tool kit (very necessary), a sewing kit and a first-aid kit which includes vitamins, allergy meds, and pain killers.

Dorm room supplies

  • Dorm decoration- some colorful rugs, personal mementos, framed  pictures and wall posters can brighten up your daughter’s dorm room and make her feel more at home.
  • Dorm Cleaning products and supplies-broom, dustpan, cleaning rags and a wastepaper basket.
  • Kitchen essentials- such as a microwave oven, utensils, a set of basic cookware, mini-fridge, dish soap, kitchen towels, storage containers, can and bottle openers, Saran wrap and aluminum foil, chip clips, water bottles and some disposable utensils for those hectic days.
  • Laundry items- such as a laundry hamper or bag (preferably collapsible), detergent, a clothesline or drying rack and rolls of quarters for laundry.
  • Electronic items- such as a hair dryer, TV, computer, printer (when they’re in a pinch), iron, radio alarm clock, phone, headphones, chargers, batteries, hand-held vacuum, an extension Cord (if allowed by the college) and a power strip. 

School Supplies

  • Writing essentials- such as pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, notebooks, loose-leaf college-ruled filler paper, folders, binders and computer paper to print out assignments.
  • Organizational supplies- such as post-its, thumbtacks, glue sticks, scissors, scotch tape, stapler, paper clips, a desk organizer and a backpack.
  • Study tools- such as index cards, highlighters and permanent markers, dry erase board with markers, pen drives, study lamp or clip-on reading light, clipboard, blank CDs/DVDs, and the following items according to class requirements- art supplies, dictionary and calculator.

Other essentials that will come in handy

  • A couple of combo locks- for your daughter’s bicycle or for safeguarding valuable stuff in her dorm room.
  • Passport or state ID like a driver’s license or permit- for colleges and university travel abroad programs.
  • Miscellaneous items- Stamps, envelopes, some favorite books, under-bed storage, umbrellas and duct tape.

Before you start purchasing the items on your college packing list, get your daughter to contact her roommate to discuss what dorm room items each of them is bringing to ensure they don’t end up with duplicate items. Also make sure to check out the college’s website for items that are not permitted on campus.

 

Countdown to College: July Checklist

It’s July, and that means your son or daughter’s independence day is right around the corner. Are you on track for a smooth departure? Let’s discuss the college countdown things you’ll want to do this month to make sure there are no fireworks the day they leave.

July Checklist for College:

With two months left to go, you should have the following “to-do’s” on your Countdown to College checklist. Here’s the college checklist that we recommend for July:

July Checklist:

  • Remember the roommate
    • Chances are, your kid is on top of this one, but it might be a good idea to remind them that now is the time to introduce themselves to their new roomie if they haven’t already—they’ll have a lot to talk about!
  • Decide what to bring vs. what to buy
    • Find out what stores are near campus so you’ll know what you need to pack and what you can pick up when you get there. Sometimes, it’s easier to buy bigger items when you get to town if you’re short on space in your car or truck.
  • Be on the look out for back to school bargains
    • It’s the start of back to school season for a lot of retailers. Right now, you may be able to get some great deals on the essentials—scope out those sales!
  • Double check the dorm rules
    • Are there certain items your kid can’t bring to school? Find out what’s allowed in their college dorm room BEFORE you buy anything.
  • Update your wireless plan (if you need to)
    • Is your college kid on their own calling plan? Are you all on a family plan? Will you be texting more—or less? Need more minutes? New coverage area? Take a look at your current plan and see if anything needs to change now that your son or daughter will be away.

Next week’s topic: What’s up, doc?

College Scholarships and Grants: How to Apply and get Financial Aid

It’s no secret that paying for college is an expensive proposition; the average college senior graduates with almost $27,000 in student loan debt. Fortunately, thanks to college scholarships and grants, it’s often possible to offset some of this loan debt. There are countless college scholarships opportunities out there, and yet many go unclaimed simply because people aren’t aware about them. You and your college kid can benefit from researching such opportunities and applying for financial aid for college.

The following college scholarships and grants guide will help you get started

Start early

While your kid is researching schools, you should be looking into college scholarships and grants at the same time. The earlier you start the more options will be available to you. Some scholarships are awarded on a first come, first served basis. Others have early deadlines, often during autumn of the high school senior year. Your kid should have several scholarships to apply for by the summer after the junior year.

Types of free financial aid

It’s important to know the distinction between the different types of college scholarships and grants available. The two main types are need-based and merit-based. Merit-based financial aid is given out based on personal achievements like good grades, and may have a competitive and rigorous application process. Need-based financial aid, meanwhile, is given out based on monetary means available to the student, generally to those with a lower income, and will require proof of finances. It’s recommended that you and your kid fill out the FAFSA before applying for scholarships or grants.

Both partial and full-scholarships are awarded for gifted students in the field of athletics, music or academics. College scholarships are also available to students who are studying a specific field.You could also look at college grants that are awarded to a student based on who they are, ie for some part of their background. College grants may also be based on ethnicity, geographic location,or to children of soldiers, police officers, or firefighters. Your kid can apply for a variety of financial aid based on your family’s personal and financial background.

College scholarships search: Who gives out college scholarships & grants and where to look for them

Perhaps the easiest place to browse for existing offers of financial aid for college is the internet. There are several large college scholarships websites dedicated to listing college scholarships along with the associated requirements. You and your child could sift through this information, and apply for those college grants that you are eligible for.

The financial aid office of your child’s chosen school is another great source of potential college grants and scholarships. Universities award their own financial aid to students for a variety of reasons, and they also have a number of benefactors who give out aid as well. A financial aid counselor would have access to this information and can advise you and your kid.

There are a number of other avenues to pursue. Your own employer may offer a scholarship to children of employees. Large companies like Walmart or Best Buy frequently have scholarships and grant programs for students. Local community or religious organizations are another group of frequent donors. Searching locally for money is a good strategy, because many scholarship donors like to give their awards to someone from their area.

College scholarships applications: What you need to keep in mind

When it comes time to actually applying for financial aid for college, it’s important that your kid’s college scholarships application is competitive. It should meet all the requirements and include all the necessary information. Your kid should work on boosting their entrance test scores, and take the time to write a thoughtful essay if one is needed. Make sure everything is printed and signed neatly, and put all the items in a folder in the right order to ensure a professional appearance. Before your kid sends out the college scholarships application, you should double check everything to make sure it’s error free.

There’s no downside to applying to as many college scholarships and grants as your kid qualifies for, and doing so can help ease the financial burden for the both of you. College can be pricey, but with a little research and hard work, your kid will be able to get a significant portion taken care of without having to go into debt.

Is Your Kid Planning On Staying With Their High School Sweetheart?

According to my research, less than 2% of all new marriages are the result of high school relationships. So if your kid’s even considering giving it a go, run this question past them:

Are you emotionally and physically prepared to be apart from your hometown sweetie for a substantial amount of time (knowing that most high school relationships don’t last long term)?

I know you don’t want to crush your child’s vision of a dream relationship—but you don’t want them living in a fantasy world either. I have a friend who’s still with her high school sweetheart, but this is obviously not the norm. She’d be the first to tell your son or daughter how difficult it is to date long distance during college.

Your child will encounter new people (new crushes?), new environments, new challenges and new opportunities on campus every day. You can bet they’ll all be competing for your child’s attention, working against a hometown relationship. It’s important that your college kid doesn’t miss out on anything because they’re busy focusing on one person.

However, if they’re set on staying together, here are a few tips you can share with your college kid to increase the highs of their relationship.

1. Set reasonable expectations. No two people are the same, so it’s likely that they’ll have different ideas about what it takes to keep a relationship alive. Your daughter may expect a phone call every day, while her boyfriend may find a text before bed—every other night—perfectly acceptable. Compromise is key.

2. Schedule time for your sweetie. Just like you would a group meeting, study session or intramural game. Your sacrifice won’t go unnoticed. My friend wrote her boyfriend a letter every day. But as time went on, their letters and phone conversations weren’t enough. So she planned a trip and flew down toTexas to see him graduate from basic.

3. Smile when your sweetie’s smiling. Strong relationships are built on trust—so you shouldn’t feel jealous or insecure when your special someone’s having fun miles away. Instead, go out and have a good time yourself! Make sure you have your own life outside of the relationship; otherwise, you’ll start feeling like your partner’s holding you back.

 

A tip? Give your kid your two cents on the topic, and then let them make the final decision. If your child is adult enough for college, they’re adult enough to choose whether to continue a relationship. Plus, who knows what’ll happen once they both start school.

 

Share your thoughts: Is your son or daughter staying together with their high school sweetie?