“But what if…?” : How to Tell if Your Kid is Ready for College

15 Apr 2015

“But what if they’re not ready?!”

Sending a child away to college for the first time comes with so many emotions: sadness, excitement, nervousness, anticipation, and maybe a little fear. Like every good parent who has gone before you, you’re worried about whether or not your student is ready for college. It’s hard to see your baby bird leave behind all the care and protection of the nest that you’ve provided for so long. But it’s going to happen! It’s only one summer away!

But never fear, because March Consulting is here to help!

Before you panic, here are some key thing to remember:

1. You HAVE taught them well, and they HAVE listened.

You may not believe me, but I can guarantee that, when your kid faces the new and unknown, they will think back to something you said (that you thought they didn’t hear), and it will make all the difference. Keep on telling your student every bit of wisdom that you have, and they will be well equipped to march through their new lives.

And, believe it or not, by the end of the next four years, your child will definitely come to you for help and guidance about friends or paying the bills or whatever they may be having trouble with. There’s nothing like college to increase a person’s respect and appreciation for their parents.

2. No one is REALLY ready for college.

College is a big unknown for everyone, and everyone has a very different experience. There’s no way for anyone to know exactly what lies ahead.

How is this comforting? Well, first, this means that all the other students are going to be in the same boat as your own. All the freshmen in the dorms can figure out how to use the washing machine together! You and your student are most definitely NOT alone.

And secondly, there’s no set standard for your student to live up to. There’s not a line in the sand dividing those who are ready for college for those who aren’t. Anyone can be ready for college, if they have the mind to be. Your child can be too!

3. All they have to do is be ready to learn.

Sure, there are important skills to have before going to college – doing laundry, budgeting, building good study habits, keeping a balanced diet, etc. – but there have been many successful college (and life) graduates who have gone to school without these in their belt. So don’t panic.

Those skills are great and all that, but the MOST IMPORTANT thing to equip your child with, to GUARANTEE they can be successful in college, is something much simpler.They just have to be ready and willing to learn.

College has changed so much in the last fifty years, and it still continues to change at a rapid pace. There’s no way you can prepare you kid for every single thing that they will need in the future, but what you can do is instill in them a willingness to try new things, to ask for help, and to figure out how to do it themselves.

If you can do that, your student will be able to handle ANYTHING.

4. There are always CELLPHONES!

As long as you make yourself available to continue helping your student, there’s no need to worry about something you may have forgotten.

[However, don’t be surprised if your student wants to try and stick it out on their own for a while. This is perfectly normal, and it does not mean they don’t like you. They love you, so just wait until they’re ready to call.]

5. This will be an AMAZING experience, no matter what.

College is the time for growth and exploration and development. Over the next four years, your child will develop into an amazing young adult ready to conquer the world. They will learn so much about themselves and about the people and places and cultures around them.

The best thing you can do for them is to set them free to develop their wings on their own.

So, the question still remains: is your student ready?

The answer?


It may be scary to think about your babies setting out to fly all by themselves, but it’s their time.

Let them fly!


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