School is back in swing across the Tampa Bay area! The adjustment from lazy summer days to the structured schedule of classes and homework is hard no matter the grade, but for those heading off into their first year of college, the switch can be difficult to navigate. The University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College, USF, and other collegiate level programs have kicked off and move-in day for most, if not all, has taken place. Students at this age aren’t just adjusting to new teachers, classwork, and peers, but are also (usually) trying to juggle living on their own whether in an apartment or a dormitory, and are typically a little overwhelmed for the first few months. While each student has to learn the “ropes” with experience, there are a few things you can do to set them up for success. Here are 3 tips for making the first year of college easier for your child (and you) to manage:
- 1. Check in often. Most college kids will roll their eyes and claim that they’re always fine. We know that having mom, dad, a grandparent, or other influential adult in their life check in regularly through a quick phone call, Face Time visit, or even text message is encouraging and makes their “life before school” not seem so far away.
- 2. Give the gift of gift cards. Gift cards are a great way to show your college student that you’re thinking of them even when they aren’t home. Gift cards can be easily mailed and fit into a school postage box, and can help with things like gas purchases (no one wants to break down on I-4, but it’s especially bad for a young student still learning the area), needed items at local stores, or even a meal or two out when the cafeteria just isn’t sounding delicious. A quick note and a gift card can turn around their entire day! Do you really want to make them feel special? Research popular hot spots in town (Tampa and Sarasota have a huge array of specialty dining options!) and purchase gift cards to these places. They might not be able to afford it otherwise, and having the gift card will give them an excuse to get out and explore their new town with some new friends.
- 3. Offer “scaffolding” as they adjust to being an adult in the big world. Learning to be in control of their own schedule is a big leap for most kids, so offering some continued support from home is a big help as they learn and grow. Gentle reminders about upcoming appointments, helping them keep up with important deadlines for college paperwork (financial aid, medical forms, etc., NOT their actual school assignments) and continuing to assist them in scheduling things like vehicle inspections and needed maintenance, doctor’s visits, or trips to the dentist can be a big boost to their confidence as they learn to navigate the grown-up world.
Success for your new college student depends almost directly on the support they have behind them, and the same can be said for your legal case. The support of your legal team and the attorneys working with you specifically play a key role in the success of your outcome. For residents in the Tampa Bay area facing divorce, disputes over custody and/or alimony, child support complications, damages due to an accident or negligence of another party, etc. Sessums Law Group is here and ready to assist you from start to finish. WE STAND FOR YOU when the unexpected happens, and our clients throughout Tampa trust us to do what’s best for them in all circumstances. Much like you supporting your student away at school, we’re only a phone call away when you need us!
Good luck to the Class of 2022 as they kick off a great year!