If Your College Student Has Food Allergies – What to Do, Who to Know

If you are sending your student off to college with food allergies, you may be concerned.  Of course, your degree of concern will depend on the degree of seriousness of your student’s allergies.  One thing to keep in mind is that managing these allergies is probably not new for your student.  He may have had practice for many years.

If your student has not taken the lead on managing his allergies before now, do all that you can to let him be in charge while he is still living at home.  Make him responsible for reading food labels, taking medication, monitoring symptoms, etc.  This will give him the confidence to know that he will be able to manage once he is at school and will help him take this responsibility seriously.  Obviously, it will give you important peace of mind as well.

Read moreIf Your College Student Has Food Allergies – What to Do, Who to Know


Spring Break Warnings . . . For College Parents

Spring break is just around the corner and college students everywhere are preparing for a much needed change of pace.  For some students that change may simply be a week of rest and a chance to catch up with friends.  Other students may be using the time to work to supplement their cash flow for the second half of the semester.  But for many students Spring Break is synonymous with travel.

If your college student is headed to warmer climes over break, especially if he is heading to one of the more popular student destinations, we hope that you’ve already had some conversations about staying safe.  As a parent, you may be entirely comfortable with your student’s plans, or you may worry about this significant “letting go” experience.  Unfortunately, many scammers understand your fears and are ready to prey on them.

Read moreSpring Break Warnings . . . For College Parents


Staying Safe and Healthy in College – A Roundup of Helpful Posts

Perhaps one of the most basic things we think about when we send our student away to college is her health and safety.  Yes, we want our student to succeed academically, make friends, be engaged, and prepare for a career; but first and foremost, we want to know that our student will be safe and be able to stay healthy – both physically and mentally.  But it is not always easy to do this when we are miles away and may not see our student for weeks.

Read moreStaying Safe and Healthy in College – A Roundup of Helpful Posts


Helping Your College Study Abroad Student Stay Safe

Egypt, Haiti, New Zealand, Japan, Libya.  Within the past two years, political and natural disasters around the world have caused us concern and pain.  For those families who may have students studying or traveling abroad in an area struck by an unforeseen event, the pain and worry become enormous. Does that mean that you should hold your student close and not let her travel or study abroad?  For some families, the answer may be yes.  But many families realize the importance and benefits of studying abroad and want their student to be able to stay safe, but still have an international experience.

If your student wants to study abroad, you will naturally worry.  But accidents, disasters, and unforeseen events can occur anywhere at any time, even at home.  Understanding the situation and the program, taking some time to prepare, and discussing a plan with your student may help ease your mind somewhat.  We’d like to suggest a few things to think about, and to discuss with your student, as you consider the study abroad experience.  We’ve written several earlier articles about helping your student consider study abroad, preparing to study abroad, and supporting your student studying abroad.  Here, we’d like to consider specifically thinking about safety while studying abroad.

Read moreHelping Your College Study Abroad Student Stay Safe


Is Your College Student Stressed? Probably.

This is the first of two posts dealing with college students and stress.  In this post we will consider the types of college student stress and some possible causes.  In our next post, we offer parents some suggestions to help their student deal with the stress they may encounter.

College students experience a lot of stress.  As parents, some of us are acutely aware of our student’s stress levels, and to others of us it may be less obvious.  Of course, not every student experiences stress, and some students actually thrive on a certain amount of stress; but many college students find that increased pressure or anxiety are part of the experience of college.  If you are not sure how your student feels about his stress level, or whether or not he feels that he is experiencing stress, consider some of the following information gathered about student stress.  You may want to discuss some of these findings with your student to help him realize that he, and/or his friends, may not be alone.

Read moreIs Your College Student Stressed? Probably.


Encouraging Your Student to Exercise in College

Parents are the encouragers.  We encourage our college students to study, to make friends, to get involved in activities at school, to get to know their professors.  Consider adding to your list encouraging your college student to get enough exercise.  According to a study done by researchers at Ohio State, as many as 52% of college students do not exercise.  The study also found that students differ in their response to social support for exercise, with women responding most to support of family and men responding more to support from friends.  However, whether your student is a male or female, consider asking about how much exercise he or she may be getting.

There are many reasons why students may not get enough exercise in college.  Although it is possible that students are spending too much time studying to fit exercise into their schedule, it is more likely a combination of many activities that crowd their schedule.  Students are spending time studying, working on or off campus, socializing with friends, and participating in campus activities.  They may have erratic schedules.  They may be overreacting to their dislike of high school gym class and viewing formal exercise as being back in the high school gym.  For some students, it is possible that friends provide a disincentive by viewing exercise as unimportant or “uncool”.  Many students who were active in high school – either participating in sports or walking to and from school and/or jobs, may not realize how much less exercise they are getting now.

Read moreEncouraging Your Student to Exercise in College


Eight Phone Numbers Your College Student Should Have in Her Cell Phone

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.

Read moreEight Phone Numbers Your College Student Should Have in Her Cell Phone


Helping Your College Student Stay Healthy Living in the Dorm

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.

Read moreHelping Your College Student Stay Healthy Living in the Dorm


Talk to Your Student About Preventing Theft in College

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.

Read moreTalk to Your Student About Preventing Theft in College


Send Your Student to College With a “Comfort Pack”

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.

Read moreSend Your Student to College With a “Comfort Pack”


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