As parents, you are essential to the college transition process.

The transition to college -- and into adulthood -- starts months, sometimes years, before most students step foot on campus. As a parent, you'll play a significant part in this transition by guiding your child through the college experience.

Your Role as a Parent

Your children will still need you when they start college, but your role will evolve as they begin to take more responsibility for their lives.

Your children will face challenges during their college journey. And when that happens, your support can make all the difference. Remember, you can't fix everything, but you should take pride in helping your children reach independence and self-sufficiency.

Preparing for the First Semester

Whether your child lives at home or on campus, college presents a new world of responsibilities and experiences. Students need to learn to manage that new level of freedom by managing their time among many priorities.

In college, students take more responsibility for their day-to-day activities. There are some things you can do to help them get ready.

Encourage them to begin managing and taking responsibility for their own finances.

  • Create a monthly or weekly budget so they learn to predict and track expenses.
  • Get a credit card with a very low limit for emergency use. Talk about what constitutes an emergency.
  • Open a bank account, explain how it works and how to balance it.

Give them ownership of basic tasks

  • Encourage them to start using an alarm clock now, while you are still there as a backup.
  • Teach them how to do laundry – separating clothes, the difference between washing in hot and cold water, etc.

Allow them to start taking responsibility for some of their new-found college freedoms.

  • Get them to commit to a plan for dealing with the unexpected – needing help in a course, needing advice dealing with stress or other situations. Talk about what campus resources are available.
  • Encourage them to keep their own calendar of upcoming events and commitments. Once they start college, encourage them to use the campus planner/handbook provided to them at Welcome Weekend.

Surviving and Thriving the First Year

Even the most prepared students likely will face challenges in college. The best way to help is to simply be accessible and supportive.

Helping your child in the college transition

As difficult as it may be, avoid “rescuing” them every time they are upset or face a difficult situation. Students often discover their true capabilities when dealing with these challenges. They still need and depend on you, but praise them for signs of maturity, independence and responsible decision-making.

Encourage them to get involved on campus. The academic side of college is important, but social and personal growth are equally important.

Pick your battles. This is a time when students begin to find themselves, what they are capable of, what they believe and who they are. Save the major arguments for the really big issues that matter most. Let the little things go.

We want to make it easy for you and your student to make the transition to college. After your child enrolls, you can refer to this site as a resource for all relevant contact and reference information.

Welcome to the Mount community. We look forward to seeing you at Orientation.