Guest Guru: Alyssa Davis – Preparing a High School Student for College

Preparing a High School Student for College

By Alyssa Davis of

From a parent’s perspective, preparing a high school teen for college is all about academics. From a teen’s perspective, preparing for college is probably mostly about being away from home and the freedom and anxiety that come along with it.

Preparing for a Roommate

One of the first things that a teen has to deal with in college is their new roommate. If a teen shares a bedroom with a sibling at home, at least they are comfortable sharing their sleeping space. However, having a roommate who is basically a complete stranger is a different experience all together. During the high school years, it is important for a teen to be able to get along with other people, from siblings, to friends, to complete strangers, because they will need these social skills the first day in their new, college dorm room.

Preparing Socially

Upon setting out to explore their new campus, a college freshman will meet a lot of different types of people. Oftentimes in protecting children from the bad bad things in life, parents unintentionally limit the scope of their teen’s experiences. So the broader exposure a teen has to the variety of people in the world, the easier their transition will be when interacting with many different types of students in college, which is the perfect time for a teen to forge friendships with students from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

College brings with it a rich and active social life including clubs, organized events and parties. Balancing academics and a social life can be tricky for some students, so during their high school years, it is probably a good idea to allow a teen a little more free rein to manage their social calendar and schoolwork. Allowing a teen to make their own good and bad decisions in a relatively controlled environment can be great preparation for college activities where they will have to figure out their own priorities and make their own choices.

Then there are the life skills that may be so obvious that a parent just assumes that their teen knows them. In particular eating and cleaning come to mind. During their high school years let teens help develop dinner menus, and if they like to cook, let them shop for and prepare a meal once a week. Parents should teach children how to clean their room, because it will be up to them to keep their dorm room clean.

Preparing Good Study Habits

Finally the first day of college classes arrive, and it is important for teens to be organized and have good study habits. A parent can prepare their high school student for this moment by helping them to develop good study skills. Students that learn how to organize their schedule manage to find time to study and turn their assignments in on time. Over time this behavior becomes a habit, and the more good habits that a teen develops in high school, the more likely they are to retain them for their college years. Offering a high school student the opportunity to try and fail also allows them the opportunity to succeed, and that is where the lesson is learned.

Alyssa Davis is the top writer and creative design specialist for She specializes in designing with metal wall candle holder and dragonfly metal wall hangings.