Sending your children to college is a bittersweet moment. They are heading into new surroundings and a completely new system, so there will be a lot of changes.
And they are going to go through them far away from you, so it is only natural for parents to be a bit worried.
It is essential to talk about all health and safety measures and factors that they might come across. Here is a list of key points to cover and prepare your children for.
Basic Health Care Measures
First of all, it is crucial to make sure that your offspring has access to healthcare on the campus. Talk about their insurance and how they can use it to get medical assistance. Freshmen must know where they can get help in case of any trouble.
Arrange a visit to your family doctor to make sure that the future student has all the relevant vaccines. If there are any health concerns or problems, that information should be given to the college health centre.
Talk to your children about their health and how they should care for it. Give them a first aid kit with medications for urgent situations. A freshman needs to know where to go in case of feeling unwell and how to get proper help.
Freshmen will be going through a lot of stress. It is quite reasonable as they have to adjust to new circumstances, meet new people, and follow the educational curriculum. There is too much going on in the first year of college, and the best way to deal with it is to have a healthy lifestyle.
The level of stress is linked directly with eating habits and lack of sleep. Therefore, it is important to encourage students to care about their daily routine. There will be no home-made meals anymore, and they need to take matters in their hands.
Talk about eating healthily, the proper amount of meals. Prepare them to cook simple things, like salad or soup. Also, encourage them into physical activity. Learn about a gym or sports center on campus and how they can join. Regular exercises help to decrease stress and have a better immune system.
And of course, tell your child about the healthy sleeping regime. Go as far as recommend some credible platforms like EssayPro to your kids in case any urgent paper comes up. No matter how tight the deadline can be, they should not pull all-nighters as it is dangerous for their health.
It is probably not your first sex talk with a kid. Yet, this one is very important. Whether they are ready to be sexually active or not, freshmen are going to be exposed to a new environment where sex might be much more accessible than before.
Start with talking about contraception and where they can get it. Underline how important it is to prevent both unexpected pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
The next point is talking about not being pressured into something they don’t want. Tell your children that it is ok not to want to have sex, and they should listen to their feelings and not let anyone pressure them into anything.
Alcohol and Drugs
Another health risk is substance abuse in college. It is a pretty common problem that takes place on any campus. Even legally underage can get access to drinks and other substances that can be dangerous. Talk about the influence of alcohol on decision making and the body.
Many risk factors make students use alcohol or drugs, such as stress, course load, curiosity, or peers’ pressure. Tell about each of these elements and make it a point that substance abuse is not a solution.
Of course, it might be completely normal for 21 years old to have a drink at a bar, yet they need to be safe.
Also, tell them never to drink something that was mixed somewhere else. Tell them about the dangers of drug abuse and how it can damage their well-being. Most importantly, say that if they experience any trouble or need help, they can always call you.
Going through the first year can be overwhelming. As a parent, you need to check with the kid regularly. Listen to how they sound, whether they look the same, didn’t their weight change dramatically.
It is especially important for those who have struggled with depression, anxiety, ADHD, or eating disorders before. College and a constant load of work can become trigger factors. If a student is on medications for mental issues, make sure they take them, and have access to refills.
Even if your child has never had any of these issues, they might arise in college. That’s why it is crucial to be there for them, support emotionally, and suggest going to professional if any issue appears.
College life is the new beginning for all first-year students.
It is a transitional period when they get to learn a lot of new things about themselves and the world. Parents should talk about the risks and dangers they might come across.
Yet, do not scare them too much and make sure that whatever their choices are, you will always be there for them. Still, do not forget to keep in touch at least once a week.