College Life: How to Prepare Your High Schooler


Great job, Moms! You have done an amazing job with your kiddos. Now is the hardest part–letting our kiddos fly the coop. So let me share some pointers on getting them and yourself ready for the big change. You’re not ready, they think they’re ready. Let’s compose ourselves and get this started. We currently have two in college and a junior getting ready for college life. So I’m in the process now. I’ll share what I did to prepare my kids for college.

Natasha and her kids

Junior Year

Preparing them for college begins their junior year in high school. Get them registered to do their SAT and ACT, and start looking and discussing what college/university they are looking to attend. Review all qualifications so they have all they need. Remember they must do this themselves; you can assist but we need to start teaching them to be independent. Also, research scholarships! There are many you can begin to apply for their junior year.  

Something else that’s important is taking classes that may help in their career of choice. I always suggest having them get involved in extracurricular activities and volunteer. This looks great on applications. In the summer before senior year start visiting college campuses with your child just to get to know those schools. Lots of them do college tours and this is a great bonding time for you and them to explore college life together. Attend college fairs; some schools have colleges come to them and sometimes their college fairs are in other areas.

A banner that reads "College Fair"

Senior Year

Senior year has arrived. Many universities/colleges have their deadlines at the beginning of the year, so you and your child can start a schedule and list the deadline dates and colleges. Start applying early and make sure all application fees are paid. Many of the schools have a fee to apply so keep track. You don’t want your child to be rejected because you forgot to pay the fee. This way, neither one loses track especially if they are applying to several schools. Now is also the time to sign up for financial aid if that’s something you’re looking at doing.  

Now we have been preparing since junior year. Deadlines, applications, scholarships, and even financial aid… And now comes the part of preparing them for this moment. Especially if they are going away for school.

Here are a few helpful things we did that I want to pass on to you:

  • Teach your child to be independent.
  • Show them to do their own laundry. Yes, it sounds simple right? Well, we all know how fast one can mess this up and suddenly, they have a white shirt that turns pink lol. So, teach them.
  • Show them how to cook simple food. This will go a long way and prepares them for when they have an apartment.
  • If you haven’t done so yet talk about how to save money and the importance of it. Such a huge life lesson that will follow them forever.

A young man sits in a chair with a pair of binoculars, watching his laundry at the laundromat

Having Fun & Being Smart

We all know what happens in college and what the kids do. It’s a party place and sometimes kids don’t have guidance on how to act. Discuss that you know it’s a party place and explain the things that might come up. Explaining the importance of being smart while still having fun is so important.

After all has been done and they have applied, just wait for the letters to arrive. This is the hard part–at least for us, it was. Some letters are good, others are rejection letters. All I can say is to stay strong and positive for your child. When they get a rejection letter from their top school just be there to listen–be a shoulder to cry on and listen.

An acceptance letter from the University of Michigan

The first child is always the hardest when it comes to preparing them for college life. I hope all this helps you. Enjoy the time together and the process. I wish your high schoolers luck!

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Natasha Arias
Natasha was born and raised in Miami, FL. She is a proud UPS wife to a very hardworking husband. She is a proud mom of 3 magnificent kids: Nicole (23), Kaytlin (20), and Steven (17). She loves spending time with her family and going on vacation… who doesn’t?! She owns a small business called Limitless Tee Co. It started off as a hobby but took off into what it is today. She’s also on Etsy. She has had the business since 2019. A fun fact about her is she’s a huge I Love Lucy fan and collector, as well as a funko pop collector. She loves curling up on the couch with her husband and playing video games till late hours. She’s also a devoted fan of the New England Patriots and looks forward to football season. Life threw her a curveball when she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2012, so she believes in living life to the fullest. She’s a firm believer that “Your illness does not define you. Your strength and courage does,” and that’s something she has instilled in her kids. Follow her on IG @limitlesscouple305.