Father Daughter Head to Head

10 Things to Do When Your Daughter Goes to College

Sending your daughter off to college may be one of the toughest goodbyes you will have. All of the unknowns and decisions your daughter will have to make without you physically there can be stressful.

However, if you take the time to discuss, set expectations, and agree to some guidelines, you can handle it handle it like a pro. Here are 10 things you should do when you have your daughter going to college.

1. Enjoy your time with her prior to leaving, but don’t crowd her.
Your daughter will have varying emotions. One day she will not want to leave your side, while the next she may not want to be anywhere in your zip code.

2. Discuss goals.
Don’t just limit the goals to grades. Discuss what they want to accomplish academically, socially, and even financially.

3. Create a financial plan.
Whether your daughter has a financial aid package or not, a budget should be established. How will they receive money? How much do they want to save/invest? What is their spending plan? College is training for the real world, and the real world will require her to establish and follow a budget to be successful.

4. Create a communication plan.
Discuss how often you will talk and what method you will use to communicate. Will you establish a set day and time, or communicate as needed. Be flexible as the frequency may change over time, based on comfort level and needs.

5. Exchange emergency contact info.
Give your contact info to her roommates, and ask for the roommate (and/or roommate’s parent’s) info in exchange. In addition, make sure you have the following numbers: Room Advisor, campus security, student adviser, other friends. This is in case of an emergency only and not to be abused. Hopefully you will never need to use it.

6. Sign up for parent seminars, orientations, and communication.
Many schools have Today’s tech allows parents to keep up to date on school activities, and even your daughter’s academics (in most cases, written permission must be provided by your child to get academic info).

7. Keep her informed about what is going on at home.
Some parents think it is best “not to worry” their kids about changes and challenges at home. The trust is increased. Just like you want her to inform you of changes in their lives, she will want the same.

8. Listen and seek to understand.
You may hear some things you never thought you’d hear. But before you begin preaching, listen, and seek to understand. Your role is shifting into more of an advisor now.

9. Talk about sex, drugs, and alcohol (including sexual assault).
If you have openly discussed this in the past, you are one step ahead. If you have not, it is not too late. It is shocking the number of women who were sexually assaulted in college, and didn’t talk about it until years later. She will have a ton of choices to make, and want her to be prepared to make the best possible choices.

10. Discuss a time management plan.
A person’s ability to manage time impacts their level of success in everything. With all the free time that comes with college, having a plan, or at least an idea of how to manage the time will be critical in her success.

One day you will go off to college. I will be just as proud of you on that day, as I am today because