No matter how much you try to prepare your child for college at some point they will have to make the decisions on their own and you will not have any control over what they do, say or eat. It can be a very trying time for parents and for the college student as they attempt to navigate the system on their own and away from home.
These 5 things handled well will help increase their success in the college world:
· Sleep – as student's transition into dorm life and having a roommate, sleep may become an issue. Teenagers in high school often times push the envelope when it comes to "getting by" on less sleep than the body actually requires. If this continues in college, their circadian rhythm cycle is disrupted and it can lead to excessive sleepiness or insomnia. Staying up late to write reports, work in the computer lab or art studio will only make the matter worse. Lack of sleep is one of the causes of adrenal fatigue and hormone imbalance. Your child may become sick due to a drop in their immune system as a result. Good habits begon prior and during high school will help with good decision making in college. Encourage your child to get their work done early and get to bed at a reasonable time.
· Eat – a cup of coffee and a honey bun will not prepare you for the grueling day nor will a bagel. Many students start out eating right and then as teenagers, they are derailed on the railroad track of proper nutrition. As stress increases, the body needs certain types of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, etc to combat free radicals and germs that will be constantly bombarding them. You may have to keep reminding them of proper choices and send them care packages. Role modeling good eating habits earlier in their lives is a good start. Poor food choices are also another cause of adrenal fatigue.
· Ask for help – the sooner your child learns to ask for help the better. Part of their coming into their own is doing this more frequently. If they can ask for help early in the semester, it will save lots of time, aggravation, and stress in the end. Students with low self-esteem tend to not ask questions or ask for help. It may also be a cultural mores as well. Talk with your child and help them explore ways or situations that they may become assertive and get the help they need. Find out what resources on campus there are to help them.
· Adapt to professor – teachers in college sometimes have class sizes that are close to and over 100. In some universities or colleges, they can have up to 300 in a class! Students tend to feel lost and depending on the subject matter may have problems understanding the material. Some are not used to the fast pace, high level requirements or massive amounts of reading assigned. The quicker they can adapt to the style and expectations of the professor the better. Encourage them to sit up front and make themselves known. Asking for help will benefit them here as well and the professor will get to know them.
· Balance – creating balance is no easy task for a college student. In fact, many adults have a difficult time doing that themselves. When students can have a balance in their academic life and their social life they will become winners. Encourage them to find resources on campus to help them with this process. Sometimes a bit of encouragement will help as well. Unfortunately, sometimes they have to learn the hard way to get into balance. Taking proper care of their body and making healthy choices is a key to balance.
As you prepare your child for college, remember these factors that weight heavily on their success. Mastering these things will send them on the path to victory and freedom.