Posts from — August 2010
Our college students have their cell phones with them wherever they go. We see them everywhere – walking across campus, at dinner, at sporting events, when visiting with friends, while studying, even (unfortunately) in class. Many students use their cell phone, not only for communication (by voice or text), but also as their clock or watch, their calendar, their memo keeper, their entertainment, their alarm or reminder. Their lives are almost as portable as their phone.
One of the advantages to having a cell phone with you everywhere you go is easy access to important phone numbers. Your student’s cell phone is probably crammed with numbers for family and friends and other personal contacts. Here are eight numbers your new college student should have in his phone – just in case. It may certainly make life easier in an emergency.
August 29, 2010 No Comments
College is expensive. There is no way around it, and no argument about it. Tuition and fees are high, the cost of textbooks has skyrocketed, and there are more unexpected expenses than you anticipated. Sometimes parents pay all costs, sometimes students pay costs, and often parents and students together share the burden. Some costs are fixed and some are flexible. Although most parents and students have no control over the price of tuition and fees, there are some living expenses over which your student may have some control.
Hopefully, you’ve discussed costs and expenses with your college student and helped him to create a budget. Whether you will be sending him spending money or he will be responsible for his own finances, there are some things that your student can do to keep expenses in check. Depending on his situation, he may want to include a few of these suggestions or as many as possible. Whenever you have your financial chat with your student, you may want to help him think through some ways in which he can shave a few of his expenses. Ask him to consider implementing a few of the following suggestions.
August 26, 2010 1 Comment
College life, for resident students, is communal life. Students live together in apartments or dorms and share their music, their ideas, their belongings, their clothes, and their germs. It is a truth of college life that many students begin to get sick just a few weeks into the semester. They are tired, may not be eating right, and they have been living together and exposing each other to their germs.
You will not be able to prevent your student from getting sick, just as you couldn’t prevent it when he started pre-school or kindergarten. You can, however, send him to school with a first aid kit, a comfort pack for when illness does strike, and some reminders of ways to try to fend off some illness or shorten the duration of the inevitable.
August 23, 2010 1 Comment
There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years. We’ve created lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. Check out our Resources and Tools page for suggestions.
From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students. This review considers The Praeger Handbook for College Parents by Helen W. Akinc. This book serves well as a handbook of information about how college works and can be a wonderful resource for familiarizing parents with the college experience.
Perhaps two of the greatest strengths of The Praeger Handbook for College Parents are the wealth of knowledge shared regarding college policies, procedures and rationales, and its focus on the college experience as a time of learning rather than simply career preparation.
August 19, 2010 No Comments
Most college students head off to college with lots of “stuff”. Students need to furnish their rooms, take the items that they need for daily living, take study aids, clothing, recreational items, and sentimental items that may remind them of home, family and friends. Increasingly, many of the items that students need to take to college are expensive. Students come to college armed with cell phones, laptops, MP3 players, blackberries, bikes and cars. All of these items are enticing: potentially easily stolen, and easily sold.
When it comes to theft on campus, many incidents are crimes of opportunity or convenience. Some awareness, forethought, and careful actions on the part of your college student can help him decrease his chances of becoming a victim of theft.
Take some time to talk to your student before she heads off to school about campus safety. She’ll want to be aware of how to take care of her personal safety, but she’ll also need to think about how to protect her belongings from theft. There are some relatively simple things that your student can do to help her keep track of her belongings.
August 16, 2010 No Comments
The summer before your student heads to college is a busy time. There may be an orientation for your student, and for you. There are things to buy for the new dorm room. Your student may be contacting her roommate. There are doctor and dentist appointments to make, forms to complete, financing to finalize. Your student may or may not be busy packing, and you may be busy worrying about why she’s not packing yet. And through it all, your student is busy trying to say goodbye to friends, and you are trying to come to terms with the fact that she’ll be gone.
Amid all of the flurry of preparations for leaving, there are some important decisions that you and your college student should make to anticipate potential issues later on. If you spend some time this summer agreeing on these points, you won’t be taken by surprise when inevitable situations arise later. You’ll know that you and your student are “on the same page”, and you may prevent difficulties later. Here are eight things to discuss with your student before she leaves.
August 12, 2010 No Comments
It is, of course, inevitable that your college student will get sick while she is at school. It may happen early in her college career, or it may not happen for a while. She may be very ill, or more likely, just miserable with a cold or virus circulating through the residence hall. For many students, that first illness often occurs a few weeks into the first semester – the seasons may begin to change, students may not be getting as much sleep as usual, may not be eating as well as usual, and they have all been in closer living contact sharing their germs.
Even if it is simply the common cold, that first illness away from home is often a difficult time for students. This may be the first time that they will need to care for themselves. This may be a difficult time for you, as parent, as well. You’d like to be there to provide the medication, the chicken soup, or maybe just the TLC. However, there’s not much that you can do if your student is miles away at school, and this is an important life-learning experience anyway. You may feel helpless and frustrated that you can’t be there.
August 8, 2010 No Comments
One of the things that college parents and their students both worry about is getting along with a college roommate. Most students have never shared a room before, and small college residence hall rooms put students in close contact. Parents and students alike realize that a good roommate relationship can be a wonderful experience, but a difficult situation can make everyone miserable. Everyone hopes for the perfect match, a new best friend, and a happily-ever-after living arrangement.
Most colleges work hard at making good roommate matches. They ask students for information about themselves and then assign roommates that have a good chance of being compatible based on lifestyle and interests. However, no matching system is perfect, and even if students are perfectly matched, conflicts are inevitable. Even if students are well prepared for the experience of living with a roommate, conflicts are inevitable. There are things that your student can do to try to minimize conflict and to deal with conflict when it arises. One thing that you and your student may not have considered, however, is that there may actually be some benefits to those inevitable situations when your student is confronted with roommate issues. We’d like to suggest four benefits or skills which your student may gain from dealing with roommate conflicts.
August 5, 2010 No Comments
As a college parent, you are trying to learn many things about the world of college, trying to help your student make a successful transition – either to the first year of college or to a subsequent year of college or even a new college, trying to determine how you can be most helpful as part of the college equation, and trying to remember that this is a time of transition for you as well. There seems to be so much to try to take in and to juggle.
As we begin this busy month just before your college student heads off to school, we offer two roundups of posts that may be particularly helpful for the month to come. These posts cover topics that may be most applicable to the preparation for leave-taking and the transition to school.
The first post is the Roundup of posts which we offered last August. It contains those posts helpful at this time of the year which were on our website a year ago. Following that, we list those posts which have been published this past year and which may be especially helpful at this time of year. We recommend that you look at both last year’s posts and the new list.
August 2, 2010 1 Comment