As many parents and juniors in high school know, junior year is often the most stressful year in terms of college prep. While the actual application process doesn’t start until the fall of senior year, juniors are already busy studying for the SAT/ACT test, often taking the test once in the spring of junior year. Their classes and grades in junior year are extremely important for their transcripts, and many of their breaks are often spent touring college campuses.
The same level of preparation and attention should be given to college prep from the diabetes side of things. Starting in junior year (some would say even earlier) teens should start learning the skills required to manage not just the day-to-day diabetes care, but also all the peripheral responsibilities of diabetes management: ordering supplies, managing prescriptions, talking with insurance companies, scheduling doctors’ appointments, going to doctors’ appointments on their own, talking with teachers, coaches, and other adults about their needs and self advocating for their accommodations, and the list goes on and on.
Many of these skills take time to master and teens shouldn’t be expected to be responsible for all of them by the time they leave for college. Parents can continue to assist with some of them through the first or second year of college, or even throughout the four years of college. But as teens transition to adulthood, these are some of the responsibilities teens will need to be able to take on and manage on their own. It’s a good idea to start being aware of and “practicing” them while they are at home where they can make mistakes and parents can support them.
How can you know what you can expect of your teen and when to expect it? How do you know what are reasonable expectations? Where can you learn how to make that transition go smoothly and successfully?
Attend one of two upcoming Ready, Set, Go, College! programs: March 22nd on the Peninsula or March 30th in the East Bay and learn from a panel of expert parents and current and former college students what worked for them and what they wish they would have known when they were going through the process.
Open to all high school students who are planning on moving out of their parents homes one day, whether it is to college or to other independent living situations.
Both sessions will include a talk about balancing T1D and Alcohol followed by a parent and student panel.