In On the Quad, we take quite a bit of time to discuss this issue — balancing your life before college with your life once college begins. For some students, it means moving away from home, living somewhat independently (for example in the residence halls/dorms), and being more responsible for everyday life than perhaps one was in high school. For other students, it means continuing to live at home, commuting to college, and being more responsible for different aspects of everyday life.
But, in BOTH cases, going to college means that your interactions with your family — your role as son/daughter and sister/brother — will change.
We have lots of ideas regarding how to begin thinking pro-actively about these changes. Some of these ideas include thinking purposefully about how to manage current family chores with school work. For example, do you help your family by taking care of younger brothers/sisters? By preparing meals? By doing grocery shopping? Or, household chores (laundry, cleaning, lawn care, etc)? If so, make a list of the ways that you currently contribute to the house and family; then, sit down with your parent(s) and discuss how these things may change once college begins. Be realistic. Remember: You may feel like you have more time on your hands due to fewer classes (than high school) and less homework; but, college work will catch up with you! Make a plan about how to use your time everyday — schedule in meals, sleeping, studying, class time, work, household chores/duties, and fun time. With this information, your parents will see that you are serious about your college education as well as continuing to contribute to the family. Enlist older siblings to help out!
This is a great video which tells, in first person, about one woman who is determined to go to college even though she contributes greatly to her family and their care. As you can see in the video, her family supports her and wants her to succeed.
Start making a plan today about how to handle your role in your family and your upcoming role as college freshman! Be prepared and ready to contribute and succeed.