5 things your teen should know how to do before they leave for college

College is fast approaching and for many teens that means leaving home for the first time.  My daughter included.  As I watch the days go by faster than I would like them to, I am left with so many questions.  Will she wake up for her early classes?  Will she be homesick?  Is the campus safe?  While many questions will go unanswered, one thing is certain.  I plan to spend the summer before she leaves making sure she is ready to live on her own.  Kids already have so much pressure on them to be successful, the last thing they should be worrying about is how to perform basic life skills.  Below are some of the things kids should know before they leave home to ease the transition into college.

They should be able to do their own laundry

No matter how far away the school, your kid will have to do their own laundry.  Both my kids can do their own laundry, but I may have interfered in the folding and ironing of their clothes.  My first step is to make sure my daughter knows how to fold her clothes properly and iron them!  Currently, her idea of folding clothes is taking them out of the laundry basket and shoving them in her drawers.  This of course then leads me to ironing everything before she walks out the door.

Make and keep an appointment

Usually I am the one who makes all of the appointments for my kids and then makes sure they get to their appointments.  Kids need to know how to call an office and speak properly to the receptionist.  They also need to know the importance of keeping their appointments by putting them in a planner or the calendar on their phone.

Manage your Money

Right now my daughter has a job, but she won’t be able to work once she is away at school.  She has been saving her money this past year, but still has a habit of spending much of her money on fast food, movies and shopping.  Kids need to understand how much money they can spend a week so they don’t run short before they return home from college.  

Boil water!

Not literally… But they do need to know how to make easy basic food so they can survive.  Kids should know how to make themselves even something as easy as a sandwich.

Dorm Maintenance

How messy is your kids room?  My daughter’s room is horrendous!  At least once a month I find myself yelling at her to clean her room.  However, I’m thinking maybe she just doesn’t know how.  Her idea of cleaning is pushing things out of sight.  Kids should be able to actually keep their areas clean.  They will be dorming with other kids and their messy habits could be a major cause of friction with the other roommates.  


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Author: Jennifer Koliatsis

Jennifer is a middle school English teacher. She lives in Bethpage with her husband and two teenagers. To her, a great night out is anywhere with great people, whether that's at home, a new restaurant, or even a PTA meeting.


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