Having your kid going to University of Central Florida can be very challenging with so many uncertainties. After so many years of being together, it can be hard to let go. Not knowing what to do or expect will scare us the most. Here are 10 tips and advice for new college parent of UCF students.
1. Be patience and let them decide for themselves
Relax. Choosing the right school is like choosing a wedding dress; when it’s The One, you just know. And don’t be surprised if the school your child picks is nothing at all like what they said they wanted when you started your search.
2. Start saving money early for college
Save money and more money- it will never be enough! College is really expensive and you will never know how much you are going to need. Research on loans and scholarships early on for University of Central Florida.
3. Let your kids be responsible for each step they take
Don’t do everything for them. Allow them to make mistakes rather than running to Mom or Dad to assist with rides, asking about grades, switching roommates, checking on meal plans,etc. These are all things your student should be able to do on their own.
4. Let your kids learn from their mistake
Yes, they will make mistakes and the ramifications may be shocking but they will never forget that lesson again.
5. Provide unconditional love when your kids are in college
Give unconditional support. Dropping a class early may not be ideal but it is better than getting stressed out. Be supportive and embrace the tough times as well as the good times. Grades are only a small part in the bigger scheme of life!
6. Find help as soon as possible with no delay
If you know that your kid is struggling with some courses at UCF, find a tutor ASAP! Don’t wait till the last minute before the final exam. It’s always better to prepare early.
7. Let them start learning life skills and be part of the real world
Let your kids take care of most of the paperwork and calls that need to happen. Don’t do these things for them. They are life skills. If they miss a deadline, that’s on them.
8. Join a community with other college parents for support and guidance
Join your UCF parents facebook group (Class of 20XX) and read as much as you can before you drop off your student. It’s a lot of information, but it’s incredibly helpful and the support of the parents on the group when you or your student is struggling is very comforting.
9. Be brave and stay strong! Go Knights! Charge On!
First semester is hard both emotionally and education wise. Be brave and strong!!! Don’t judge or freak out when (and they will) fail or do poorly on their first college quiz/test. Offer words of encouragement, tell them to go to office hours, that it’s not the end of the world. No matter how easy high school was, it’s a whole new ballgame in college
10. Do research on transit around campus
Make sure you check transit to and from campus at UCF. Bus, Uber, train, plane and calculate travel costs for all holidays along with a couple “I just want to come home for the weekend”. Do not assume other kids will drive them to where they need to be.
Note: These tips are provided by current parents of University of Central Florida students.