Going to college is one of the biggest developments in a young person’s life. For many teens, it can be their first taste of adulthood. Whether your teen goes to school near home or far out-of-state, it’s going to have an impact on them. However, you want to help them find the best school possible. This is how to help your teen choose the right college.
1. Focus on their interests
Some teens enter college with little idea about what they want to study. However, others have a pursuit they’ve been chasing since they were little. For instance, if your teen has dreamed of being a doctor for years, then you should help them to find a school with a great pre-med program. They don’t have to be locked into a major right away, but it definitely helps to have a general sense of what they’d like to focus on.
2. Faculty support
Getting through college is harder than you might remember. Anyone who’s made it through can probably point to their professors and other mentors for their support. There should be all kinds of support, from instructors being able to talk one-on-one with students about concerns to strong mental health resources on campus, such as counseling. Your teen should know that there’s no shame in asking for help and that doing so can pay off more than they could possibly realize.
3. Good social life
Socializing is one of the most important aspects of college. When one needs to get away from studying and worrying about tests, the best way to unwind is with friends. Talk with your teen about what sort of socializing is most important for them. Some might want to join a Greek organization, like a sorority or a fraternity. Others may prefer socializing on a more casual basis. Having a strong social foundation can help your teen to enjoy the college life much more.
4. Good class sizes
Some students enjoy having classes in large auditoriums. Others prefer traditional classroom environments where you can get to know the instructor more intimately. Both have their advantages, but what ultimately matters is what your teen gravitates to. If they’re shyer, they may prefer an environment where they’re surrounded by more people than they can count. However, those who like to be the center of attention might find that a smaller class is better for them. As long as your teen doesn’t feel like they’re being lost in the shuffle, they should be in good shape.
The right college for someone else might not be the right college for your teen. While you might not enroll in the school your teen chooses, you need to respect their decisions. The important thing is that they find themselves in a positive environment that brings out their best qualities.