Preparing an Early Adult for College Life

Valuable parenting tips to help you deal with your young adult


college life


Many early adults go to college, often pushed by their parents, without completely understanding what college is all about. College is often billed as the surest path to a lucrative, enjoyable career. While this may be true, there is clearly more to college than cultivating a career path. College can serve as the genesis of an early adult’s journey into independent adulthood. Unfortunately, most early adults see college life as a place to vacation from parental supervision or to use it as an opportunity to socialize and enjoy the fruits of their youth.

Parents have the primary responsibility to explain the importance of education. It is up to them to answer the question, “How can a college education change your life?” Once their children understand this, it is only a matter of inspiring and motivating them to go in the right direction. So, how do parents prepare their young adults for college life?


Set Expectations

First, parents should make it known that college is not a walk in the park. They cannot simply enter it with the hopes of breezing through the years of academic bliss.

College life is filled with challenges. Preparing for college life requires the mastery of necessary skills to help them take on not just the academic issues but also the social, emotional ones they will likely face in the new phase of their life.

By learning these coping strategies, early adults will be ready to assert their needs and manage tricky situations when things do not go their way.


Help Them Prepare Emotionally

To ensure emotional readiness, your children must examine and identify their feelings and communicate them to others.

They must know that they can change their minds, commit mistakes, ask questions, and admit their shortcomings. College is a place where they will meet many people from different walks of life who that they will not always see eye to eye with. They must be emotionally flexible.

This will give them proper expectations once they build friendship and romantic relationships.


Help Them Prepare Academically

For academic challenges, your children should know the value of time management.

Adhering to schedule is very important. It can make or break their academic performance. Asking for clarifications and talking to professors after class is also encouraged. They must also learn to choose their courses carefully.

Early adults must consider their college credits for life experience.


Help them Learn the Art of Independence

As parents, it is also your job to cultivate independence in your child. They must learn the basic adulting necessities, like cleaning their room and managing their bills. While some early adults will detest being treated like a child, many of them still cling to the last vestiges of dependency upon his parents.

This happens when they seek help in resolving a certain issue they themselves are responsible but ask their parents to stay out of their other affairs. In this case, they desperately want to be treated as adults but still habitually act like children.


Although it may sound confusing, parents must understand that these transitional years can be very complicated. They must bear in mind that while he is maturing, his parents must also be maturing. They must realize that they are no longer parenting a child; they are now parenting an adult.


My experiences as an early adult are detailed in my book, Train Up a Child. Check it out if you need more parenting advice. You can also connect with me on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

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