When your child is young, it hardly takes any thought at all to enrol them in school. You just know they should receive primary and secondary education. But as high school graduation approaches, it can be difficult to know what is the best next step for your teen. While many assume that college is a good option, is it the right fit for your teen? Here are some tips to consider when determining whether or not your teen is ready for college.
In college, your teen will have a great deal of responsibility—probably more than ever before. Having basic organization skills is important when gauging whether or not your teen is ready for college. Will they be able to keep their own schedule? Get assignments done on time? Make a grocery shopping list? Budget their money wisely? If they are unable to get organized to some extent, they will find college extremely stressful.
The lure of college for many high schoolers is the freedom that it offers—apparent freedom from rules, parents and responsibilities. This is not entirely true, of course, as there are many things in college that your teen will need to be responsible for. This is a lesson your teen will learn quickly when they head off to college and if they don’t have the discipline to follow through on their academic responsibilities then they will find it to be a very difficult transition.
Of course, one major factor in determining whether or not your teen is ready for college is understanding how strong they are academically. Even if a college accepts them, it’s still important to know if your child can balance a course load well. If they are struggling to keep up with their senior year academics and find the added college applications stressful, then this might be an indicator that college level classes will need to be selected more carefully.
Besides academics, it is also important to assess your teen’s level of independence. College can feel pretty lonely in the beginning, especially if they will be living on campus and going to a school without their close friends. If your teen is unable to meet new people and problem solve on their own, then they may need some extra support throughout their transition.
Does your teen want to go to college? This might seem like an obvious question, but it can also be easily forgotten. Don’t make assumptions that your graduate wants to attend college right away. Instead, explore various options with them including working, traveling or attending a technical institute. Your teen will only flourish in college if they want to be there themselves.