ADVICE FOR COLLEGE BOUND STUDENTS
- Make sure your child has knowledge of what their health insurance coverage is and where they should go for care if student health is not available.
- Encourage use of student health service for acute illness, preventive care and counseling services.
- Keep a list of regularly taken medications and have extra prescriptions and the name of the pharmacy to use for refills.
- For chronic medical conditions identify a specialist near the college prior to the start of the semester, and schedule a visit so they are familiar with your son/daughter in case of an emergency.
- Make sure your child knows their whole medical history – allergies, diseases etc.
A small medical kit is very useful.
Discuss how to manage colds. Give them guidelines when to contact and go to Student Health Services (a fever more than 24 hours, repeated vomiting and dehydration, difficulty breathing, etc.). It is common to have repeated illnesses secondary to living in close quarters. Antibiotics do not cure viral illnesses, and can cause secondary issues with allergies and affect bowel flora.
Sleep deprivation and all-nighters do not improve grades or health.
It is not an imperative requirement to gain the “freshman 15” pounds. Healthy eating and physical activity are still important. Alcohol has a lot of non-nutritious calories.
Sexually transmitted diseases refer not only to AIDS, but also include Herpes, Chlamydia, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, HPV. Do not trust the statement that they have been checked for all STD’s. Condoms need to be worn for all sexual interactions, including oral sex. Woman should always take a secondary precaution by using a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy.
Pap smear is recommended at age 21. We recommend seeing a gynecologist at that age.
Immunizations: make sure to get an annual flu vaccine either at college or your doctor’s office. Important vaccines to have prior to college are: TDAP, Meningitis vaccines (Menactra and Trumenba), Gardasil.
Sex, sexuality, alcohol, drugs, independence and finances will confront every college student.
Discuss these issues and have a plan related to finance.
Roommates are not always perfect matches. They don’t have to be your child’s best friend. Give and take is an important message to carry to college.
Tell students to lock their doors and keep medication and valuables in a lock box. Make use of campus security and police, if needed.
If your student has any disabilities, schedule an appointment with the Disabilities Office to get appropriate accommodations.
College is a place and time to further education. It is also a time to explore ideas and possibilities. Encourage your student to become involved in student life. Join clubs and sports to enrich your experience and meet other students.
College means more freedom; therefore, more self-discipline is needed. There is less time spent in traditional classrooms and more time spent on homework, studying and research. There will be much less opportunity for extra credit, but more opportunity for enlarging the mind.
Cults, racism, bigotry, vandalism, gangs and violence are present at every campus. Rape and sexual assault do occur, being under the influence of alcohol and drugs make you a lot more vulnerable.
Expect changes in their routines and interactions when they come back from school during their breaks.
College is neither easier or harder than high school, just different.
This is a big step in the letting go phase of parenthood. Teach your child to fly.
College Bound (click here for PDF)