Let’s face it. Your little one is leaving and there’s a whole hurricane of emotions from anxiety to pride involved in sending your child off to college. I know because I was the oldest in my family and headed straight for the Big Apple, New York City, and believe me, going away was about as unusual as rice without frijoles. However, now that we’ve taken our first crack at it, here’s some useful tips to know.
Packing clothes was something I misjudged wildly. I had enough sets of clothing to last me a whole semester without touching the laundry. Always pack enough clothes for about a week or two with some extra more formal clothes for work or a night out. Remember that even if your child attends school in a place like New York, you’ll have breaks like Thanksgiving to take back some summer clothing and exchange it for winter clothes.
Map out the area. Find the nearest bank and set up an account for your child so he or she can have a way to get money when they need it. Find the local supermarket for food, drinks, bathroom supplies, and while you’re at it, find all the best restaurants to eat at. Long story short, make sure they are familiar with the area so that they have an easier time finding their way around town.
Then, there’s drinking. It’s always best to warn your child about the dangers involved with alcohol and be sure to know all the public safety procedures in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately, however, you can never be sure that your child will avoid underage drinking. It is important on nights where they may drink that they at least know how to plan a way to get home safe, whether it be a close and trusted friend or an Uber.
College is a place where your child can make lifelong friends that will look out for them when they need it the most. That’s why it is important to get involved with the community and find some clubs to join. If you want your child to keep their faith strong, you will find that most colleges offer religious communities full of other students of the same faith.
Lastly, have confidence in them. Trust them and they will be fine. It is said worrying only makes you suffer twice. Your child is ready to begin a new chapter in their life and they want to make you proud the same way I wanted to make my parents proud when I was getting ready to take off to New York. So, even if your little one is leaving the nest for the first time, you can be pretty sure that they can fly through any storm that comes their way. The natives of Miami would know.
Andres Pena is a freshman at New York University majoring in English and minoring in Studio Art.