BY BRETT CLAWSON
Going to college can be a great experience. It can be a great time in a young person’s life where they figure out who they are and what they want to do with their lives. It can provide some of the best memories in a person’s life. While college is great, if may not be for everyone. It’s important for parents to know the do’s and don’t’s of sending a child off to college. There a number of things a parent can do to help their child’s college experience. However make a wrong move can also make college an experience they do not enjoy.
Don’t Let Your Child Get Buried in Debt
This tip should be a no brainer at this point. No college degree is worth going deep into debt for. There many ways to pay for an education without student loans. First and foremost as a parent it is a great idea to encourage your child to do well in high school so that they may be eligible for scholarships. There are so many scholarships available and if your child works hard they really are attainable. Second, encourage your child to go to an in state school to make it more affordable. Finally, let your child know that good old fashioned work is a great solution. Many students work a part time job while going to school. Even if the process takes a little longer because you are paying out of pocket, it will be well worth it if you can avoid student loan debt.
Do Encourage Your Kids to Take a Gap Year If Needed
Graduating from high school is a major accomplishment. Not every person is ready to take on college as soon as they graduate. It is important for parents to be aware of this fact and encourage their children to take a ‘gap’ year off if needed. Taking time off is a great way for some students to clear their mind and decide what they want to do with their life. During that time off they may get some needed rest or simply decide that college is not for them. Taking this route may often come across as lazy or as if the child is not going to make anything of their life. The truth is a gap year may be just what they need to get things together and get on the right path.
Don’t Assume College is the Only Way
Many people have had it engraved in their head that in order to be successful they must go to a 4-year college. While this is a popular statement it is not an accurate one. There are many high paying jobs that do not require a college degree, per se. Some of these jobs include electricians, web developers, and even computer technicians. A number of people go to technical college after high school, or they go straight into the workforce. Parents should not be alarmed if their children want to go down this road. Instead they should encourage them to find a field that they are passionate about, but they should be sure to understand all their options before deciding against college.
Do Help Your Child Move and Stay Connected During Their Journey
Going to college is a big transition. Parents need to help their child with this transition as much or as little as the child needs the help. Consider using a universal roof rack cross bars to help bring their luggage to campus. It might also include not calling them as much to give them the space they need as they adjust. Staying connected to your child is an important job for a parent during this time. Not every child will need the same thing but rest assured they will need some help at some point.
Byline: Brett Clawson is a writer and entrepreneur with a degree in Business Management. He enjoys researching emerging business trends and sharing their impact on business and the industry as a whole. He believes that the best way to influence others and share his knowledge with the world is through his writing.