Most high school graduates seek independence and are looking forward to living away from home for the very first time. Some high school grads may have even threatened their parents with the proclamation that they can’t wait to leave home and will never ever return home!. It’s OK they don’t understand the real world and what independence really entails.
Sure, moms will be relieved of providing loads of clean laundry and cooking well balanced meals for their hearty teen to consume. Now they can wear socks that don’t match or wear their underwear inside out, if they don’t care to do their own laundry and they can have their fill of pizza and fast food on a very strict budget. They will get to see how expensive a loaded pepperoni pizza can be. In essence they will get to do what they have longed for during those tumultuous teen years that they went through at home while their parents took good care of them.
While laundry and meal planning can be mastered by any astute college freshmen. After all, a good parent prepared them to to be away from home for the very first time or at least they hoped they did. These lessons in independence should be enacted in their senior year of high school.
Its time to stop nagging your teen to wake up in the morning for high school because those professors at college will just take attendance and proceed without them. No one will ask about your precious child anymore. It will be totally up to them to set their own alarm and get up to go to college on their own cognitive ability and steam.
By the way, that apartment or dorm room will be just as you left it. So, if you left a carton of half eaten pizza next to your bed, don’t be surprised if you have intruders of the four legged or even six legged variety. You might not get your money’s worth of that tall can of room freshener or Lysol if you have to use it upon entering your room every day.
This freshman should have made plans along with the veiled threats of leaving home and being on their own without their parents telling them what to do. This college freshman should have demonstrated some independence in their senior year in high school. Perhaps they got an after school job and demonstrated the concept of saving money and perhaps they stuck to a strict budget and used their own money for gas and personal items,such as toiletries, food and clothing. Now they get to see how really expensive independence can be.
The next phase in mastering independence is handling their own finances. Some freshmen continue to rely on a monthly stipend from mom and dad to meet their financial obligations. Finances are key for any notion of independence. A bank account should have already been established in the freshman’s name. Perhaps the savings from their previous summer job may be used by them now. A budget must be strictly adhered to enable a smooth transition to their new found independence as a freshman living on their own for the first time. The credit card trap must be avoided at all cost. One credit card for books will suffice throughout their college years. Fancy clothes and cars can wait until they have a good job to support these type of expenditures.
The next important topic is safety, because it’s true that birds of a feather flock together . So align yourself with complimentary companions and avoid partying too much. There is a time and place for everything. Save the celebration until your completely independent and have graduated with a degree in higher learning. Independence is an education!
In the meantime, seek advice from those parents who love you and wish to see you succeed at your independence.