Two young girls holding up welcome matsDoes this sound familiar to anyone?

“Pick your clothes up off the floor and do your laundry.”

“If you don’t like what we’re having for dinner you can make your own.”

“Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

“You better leave now or you’ll be late.”

Listen up, college-bound kids!  Your parents aren’t being annoying on purpose…they’re just trying to instill some independence in you, and provide you with a smooth transition from high school to college.

Adulting Skills 

I hear this all the time: “High school needs to teach less about trigonometry, and more about how to handle real-life situations; i.e., how to do taxes, how to manage money, and how to manage your time.”  While I do agree with this (to a certain extent), I also firmly believe these things need to start at home.  What better way is there to learn than actual hands-on experience and insight from the one(s) who raised you?

While my parents didn’t encourage me to attend college (read this blog that explains my journey to college), they did try their best to prepare me for the Big Scary World.  I was expected to do the following while I was in high school:

  • chores around the house
  • my own laundry
  • prepare some of my own meals (more than just using the microwave)
  • open a checking account and balance my checkbook

Push Back

At the time, I was so irritated that I had to do all of that.  Some of my thoughts were: I’m a busy girl!  I’ve got track practice, and Yearbook meetings, and a football game, and a part-time job…how am I going to have time to do all this extra stuff?!?  But looking back on it now, I realized that my parents saved me a lot of hassle and uncertainty when it came time to move out and live away from home.  Instead of spending time learning these life skills on my own and making a bunch of mistakes along the way, I was able to utilize what I had been taught since I was a sophomore in high school…and I was grateful.

The Unknown

Conversely, there are some things that high school or your parents can’t teach you:

  • how to make new friends
  • how to take care of yourself when you get sick
  • how to find your way around a school campus or work campus
  • how to talk to professors or employers

I’m sorry to say…some situations are trial by fire; we all have our own ways of communicating and navigating the rough waters.  TRUST your instincts, and don’t be so hard on yourself if you don’t get the result you want right away.

Whether you’ve moved into a dorm room or off-campus housing after high school, there will inevitably be times where you have absolutely no idea how to manage a certain situation…and that’s ok!  But think how great it would be to have the confidence to figure it out on your own and learn as you go?  Transition is all about problem-solving, and knowing that if one solution doesn’t work, you need to find one that does.  And cut your parents some slack…believe it or not, they’re trying to do what’s best for you even though it may not seem like it.