Book Review: You're On Your Own (but I'm here if you need me)

Marjorie Savage wrote You're On Your Own (but I'm here if you need me) to help parents mentor their children during the college years, and I definitely suggest that parents of high school seniors read it! I believe that having a good sense of what might be coming your way will help you sleep better and not overreact when things do happen.

Whether your child is going to a local community college or an ivy league campus across the country, the transition from high school to college is huge for your child, your family, and you as a parent. In many communities the amount of support that exists for families of young children just does not exist for parents of teens and young adults, so read this book and reach out to those of us experiencing this transition - it sounds like the road is going to get bumpy.

I loved the practical advice and great stories provided by Ms.Savage about how parenting a college student is different, requires a different approach to finances, health, wellness, academics, work, emergencies, and most importantly mentoring. There are down-to-earth examples of how families handled different challenges, and not everyone is perfect.

At the end of the book is a great summary about what the major issues are during each of the four years at college, and I found it comforting to feel like I could start doing things now to help my teens learn how to manage their time, make decisions about risky behavior, balance responsibilities with social goals, make use of opportunities available, set reasonable goals about money, think long term, and not fear uncertainty.

Ms. Savage not only spoke to me as a parent of a high school junior but she has some great advice for teens and college students at the end of every chapter. There is also a great chapter about learning outside the classroom and how to chose a career, not a job.

This book made me feel much more secure about the types of challenges our family will face soon and did not shy away from some difficult subjects including sex, alcohol, drugs, sexual assault, emotional health, how to prepare for visits with your college student, and even body art. A must read for parents and it would not hurt students either!

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