Having your kid going to college 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 Mizzou students.
1. Learn how to let go and put trust in your kid
Let your child navigate their way through college. Make it THEIR experience – not YOURS!! It’s time to step back & trust your young adult to handle themselves.
2. Join the college parents community
Join your Mizzou 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.
3. Take the time to listen to your son or daughter
Listen to your son or daughter about what they are looking for in a college experience.
4. Allow them to make mistakes so they can learn
Start early & make a timeline for your student to use collaboratively with you. 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. Allow them to experience consequences of their actions. Let them initiate the communication rather than parents texting all day. Yes, they will make mistakes and the ramifications may be shocking BUT they will never forget that lesson again. It is a good thing from a psychological point of view when your students no longer need the hand holding. Don’t ask “what would you like me to do?” and rephrase it as “tell me what you want me to do to help”
5. Give them the opportunity to learn life skills early on
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.
6. Start saving money early on 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 Mizzou.
7. Teach them how to be responsible starting in their senior year
Let your high school seniors be more responsible for their homework, test prep. If you keep reminding them they won’t be able to figure it out on their own come college
8. Find help as soon as possible when needed
If you know that your kid is struggling with some courses, find a tutor ASAP! Don’t wait till the last minute before the final exam. It’s always better to prepare early.
9. Research early on transit around the campus
Make sure you check transit to and from campus. 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.
10. Let your kids grow on their own
Your children love you & won’t forget you but we need to teach these children how to prosper without interference from others.
Note: These tips are provided by current parents of Mizzou students