How to Prepare a Teen for Dorm Living

Living in a dorm is one of the most difficult changes a freshman student will have to face in college. Dorm life is very different from home life, and your teen might not yet be prepared to share his or her living space with their peers. You can help your teen prepare for college dorm life, however, by reminding them of a few things as you do their dorm room shopping.

Dorms have limited space

While you want to have some things in your dorm room to occupy any spare time you might have, bringing too much to your first dorm can clutter it up and make it difficult to live in. Explain to your teen that they cannot bring their whole room with them. They have to share space with another person who wants to bring all of their room things, too.

If your teen has contact with his or her roommate, encourage your teen to make arrangements with the roommate to decide who is bringing what. You don’t need two mini-fridges in your room. Too many appliances will take up too much space. Work together with your roommate to decide what appliances are needed and what ones you can live without.

Money doesn’t grow on trees

If your teen hasn’t handled his or her own finances before, this may be a good time to start. Teens who don’t realize the importance of saving money can run out pretty quickly after a few night out with friends. Encourage your teen to start good saving and spending habits now so that they do not blow all their cash in the first month.

Also encourage your teen to keep track of his or her resources. Let them buy their own bathroom necessities before they move in so that they realize how important it is to decide to go shopping at the right time.

Mornings are difficult

Teens often struggle with their first year of college because they do not know how to get themselves up and ready without parental assistance. Make sure that your teen can regularly set his or her alarm and wake up alone. Encouraging them to wake up will not help them get ready for college. Letting them run out of time for a shower might. It only takes one late morning to make a teen miserable enough to want to wake up on his or her own each morning.

College can be difficult, but preparing your teen for dorm life is one important step to take. With the appropriate preparation, your teenager will know how to behave living with strangers. Dorm life will be easy if your teen gets the right help and support in advance.