Let your young adults choose the distance
How far to go away from home is a tough decision that parents need to let their young adults decide, taking into account travel time and expenses. For many college students, being far from home adds to their sense of independence and excitement, as they explore new places that are completely different from their hometowns with people from places and backgrounds they may never have encountered before. For other students, the stress and change of being a college student can be exacerbated by being too far away from family and friends, and having the option to return home when they choose to with minimal expense and time can give them a sense of comfort and security. Whatever your feelings are about having a child far away or nearby, ultimately this decision must be the young adult’s.
Your interests are not your young adult’s
It may be that you were unable to pursue your dream career, but that doesn’t mean your young adult has to. Likewise, expecting your young adult to follow your lead into a career like yours is just as wrong. Your passion for medicine, for example, may not know the inner thoughts and desires that he or she may have. When a young adult states I feel at home on this campus, listen closely. There may be much more to it than appears to be on the surface.
Your young adult is still evolving
Many changes and growth experiences occur during the four years of college. The odds of a student changing his or her major, for example, are pretty good nearly 80% of students will change their course of study during their college careers. Students discover themselves as individuals separate and independent from their families and old friends, exploring political views, sexuality and more. While you as a parent may how your child intimately and profoundly, you may not know the inner thoughts and desires that he or she may have. When a young adult states I feel at home on this campus, listen closely. There may be much more to it than appears to be on the surface.
Don’t push your preferences
During the college search and campus visits, it’s very possible that parents will fall in love with a school just like their children do. The leafy campus in the bucolic countryside may appeal to parents who attended school in a similar environment, or may stimulate interest because it’s the opportunity they never had. Parents may wish for their child to attend school in an exiting location so visiting their kids will be enjoyable on many levels. Whatever parents may prefer, it’s irrelevant to the choice made by their young adult. Keep your choices to yourself and listen to your high school senior as he or she makes this important decision.
Have them make lists
There’s nothing quite as impactful as writing down pros and cons for any difficult decision, and the college choice is certainly no exception. A simple pros and cos list can be enough to clarify which school is best and for what reasons. Try not to make suggestions about any particular campus. By letting students ponder and consider, what works and what doesn’t at each school, it will allow them time and space to clarify what the priorities are in their minds.
Sate financial guidelines, then back away
the bottom line is the financial responsibility parents are willing to take on for their children’s education. Ideally a family will have discussed this prior to the application process beginning, and will have utilized any and all financial aid and scholarship opportunities available to them to help with the high cost of a college education. Once the financial parameter are clear and the schools have sent their award information and financial aid options along with acceptance notices, the student must take into account these hard facts and make an informed decision – with the parents’ guidance.