Editor’s Note: More colleges and universities are providing supports for students with learning and/or cognitive disabilities and for those on the autism spectrum. We appreciate Terri Weiner’s list that can help families prepare their sons and daughter for a successful transition to college.

Time to be accountable for yourself! Excited by this new independence?Are you sure you’re fully prepared?  Use this list as a tool for your transition to success at college…

  1. Eat Right: Make good food choices or prepare healthy meals to avoid the dreaded “Freshman 15.”
  2. Don’t Smell: Wear clean clothes and shower often! Yep, that means knowing how to do laundry and anticipate when you need to do it, so you don’t run out of clean clothes. Good personal hygiene is also mandatory- clean hair, use deodorant, brush teeth, etc.
  3. Organize: It is critical to schedule and manage your time wisely, so you need to find strategies that work best for you. Be prepared with a variety of tools and technology that are available.
  4. Socialize: Dealing with a roommate and dormitory living can get tricky. Have a plan to meet new people and make friends, know what it means to be a considerate roommate or neighbor. Explore ways to communicate and connect beyond basic calls and texts to develop deeper meaningful relationships.
  5. Mobilize: This may mean driving or accessing public transportation to get around. Both of these skills come with many additional responsibilities to consider!
  6. Manage $: Open a bank account, use an ATM, write checks, use a budget, and know how to tip.
  7. Stay Healthy: Uh-Oh! Sick? Calling home is not going to help! Know where to go and who to call if you are sick or have a toothache… before you need someone. Know where the health clinic is on campus, and when they’re open.
  8. Clean Up: Your dorm room, apartment, home- wherever you are! It is socially expected and important for your health. Not shoving stuff under your bed– Actually dust, vacuum, wash dishes, empty garbage and straighten up.
  9. Have Fun: Explore a variety of activities to help you unwind so that you have something to look forward to doing– having fun is essential to everyone’s well being. Develop a hobby and find something to be passionate about, to find your new happy place as you venture away from home!
  10. Find Help: If any of the above areas seem too challenging, just ask for help!

At Transition Steps to Success, we are perfectly positioned as occupational therapists to work with any of these 10 areas in greater depth. Our mission is to help individuals make successful transitions to independence so that they can launch satisfying, healthy, and fulfilling lives!

Terri Weiner

Terri Weiner has been an Occupational Therapist for over 25 years. She is a dedicated therapist who always puts her clients and their needs at the center of her practice. She is known for her innovative strategies and has a breadth of experience working throughout the large scope of Occupational Therapy practice. Click here to contact her.