While they may have spent most of their teen years complaining about school, your teen will probably feel at a loss about not returning this September. Whether they loved or hated it, it was a safe familiar environment for them. School provided a regular routine and structure for your teen for five-six years of their life and even eight years prior to that. So, the transition from school to college, or even employment, is not an easy one. But not to worry, here are some great tips to make that transition a less turbulent one for your teen:
Respect their choices
Not every teen will want to go to college straightaway, while others may not want to pursue academics at all. While many argue that university can be the be all and end all, it’s important to remember that college isn’t the perfect choice for everyone. If your teen wishes to take a year out and pursue other options, it’s important that you respect that. There are many routes to success. So, it’s important that your teen makes the right choice for them, that way it will be much easier for them to adjust to life after school if they’re enjoying what they’re doing.
Talk to them
Your teen will have many concerns about this transition, and will need your support with this. Your teen may feel alone, especially if their peers have already figured out their options, while they're still confused about their future. Talk about their options even before they receive their exam results. That way when their exam results do arrive, the future won’t feel as daunting for your teen.
Gradual change
Change is never easy, so the best approach to take with your teen is a gradual one. If they’re moving away from home for the first time, why not visit their new home with them. If they’re attending college, make sure that your teen attends all of the open days and alumni events, not to just to find about classes and the campus itself, but to meet peers and make new friends.
Reassure them
Your teen will have off-days, or days where they feel unable to cope with the changes ahead. When this does occur, remind them that it’s ok to feel overwhelmed because change can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. This a transition that everyone has been through, including yourself, and despite their confusion they will get through this. And while they may uncertain about the future ahead, the change from school is a natural part of growth as well as an opportunity to explore the options around them.