Posted by: cindybiz | September 1, 2010

Off to college…

A whole new world

Back to school time and so much on the news is how to prepare our kids for this experience…but what about college…and what about college for those who have grown up overseas or were educated at home?!

I thought the following checklist was a little different take on the list for college/university. It is from the perspective of preparing your MK (Missionary Kid), who has grown up in a non-North American environment….but I thought the list applied to ALL young adults trying to move from a “known world” of high school or homeschool to the “unknown world” of college! I know I found it helpful!

Ideally, a student entering college will demonstrate proficiency in the following areas:

1. Emotional stability: possesses the self-confidence needed to initiate relationships, make decisions, and enter into US society.

2. Practical knowledge: possesses the skills needed for independent living in the US such as driving, banking, and conducting ordinary business.

3. Spiritual development: demonstrates the maturity to associate with a local church, as well as the spiritual discernment and personal morality to cope with temptation in a world of freedom.

4. Financial responsibility: handles money well, understands and uses a budget, saves up money prior to making a purchase, and understands the cost of living on one’s own.

5. Communication/Social skills: demonstrates confidence initiating conversations and can clearly yet tactfully articulate needs, feelings, opinions, and suggestions.

6. Responsible behavior: accomplishes what is expected without outside prodding, completes tasks in a timely fashion, recognizes and voluntarily does household chores, rarely makes excuses, and initiates communication with the responsible person when he or she cannot complete a task as expected.

7. Identity awareness: has a healthy understanding of who one is, knows own strengths and weaknesses, and demonstrates appropriate autonomy.

8. Decision making: understands the decision-making process, accepts the consequences of decisions, and learns from mistakes.

9. Work ethic: understands the commitments of employment, importance of arriving on time, not using work time for personal activities, and avoiding unauthorized use of equipment and materials.

10. Time management: balance between studies and social activities; not unduly stressed out by responsibilities, and makes good decisions about sleep, proper food and recreation.

I would love to hear your thoughts on things that YOU have done to prepare your child for college/university…or even just life after high school!

Thank you to Mercy Ships for this list!



  1. My son is in his third year of Bible College. Except for paying his airfare and getting him to the airport, there is little I need to do.
    However, that first year was very different. There was a last minute scramble, as the campus to which he’d been accepted didn’t have funds to run the program. Therefore, it was on to Plan B (God’s Plan A, all along).
    I drove Joshua around to get the necessary pieces of photo id; shopped with him for an entirely new wardrobe; corresponded with the school; arranged for his flight…
    Although, as he waited to go through the gates for the first time, he was like a deer caught in the headlights and couldn’t even hug me good-bye because of his nervousness, now hopping on a plane is as natural to him as any other form of transportation.
    I’m thankful for the Internet. I love receiving his emails and chatting from time to time, but I now know he can make it on his own…And that’s my goal as a parent.

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