8 Things College Your College Freshman Needs to Hear You Say

Tips and Truths Every Student Should Hear

Young adults heading off to college may think they know everything – but us parents know better. These are a few things you should tell your college freshman – whether he wants to listen or not!

1

Everyone Is Nervous

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No matter how cocky or confident other freshmen may seem, it's unlikely that anyone shows up at the dorm without a few butterflies in their stomach. If your freshman is particularly anxious or unsure of himself, share a story or two about how you were nervous your first day of college, work, or real life, and assure him he is not alone.

Even if he acts like he doesn't care, it will give him a bit of comfort to know he's not alone once you've left him at the dorm after saying goodbye. 

2

Go to Class

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It can be tempting for college freshmen, new to the idea that they can choose whether to attend class or not, to sleep in or skip a class because it's a beautiful day.

Parents know better and need to remind their young adults that each and every class in each and every course is worth going to, no matter how tedious they may find the information or how early the alarm goes off.

College is expensive, and flunking out is not an option.

3

Have a Routine

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Many of the most productive people live by a schedule and routine.

Whether your young adult in college follows a written planner or an online calendar, planning ahead – days, weeks and months – is important, not only to stay on top of assignments, social commitments, and other events but also to stay accountable to the most important person - himself. ​

4

Be Comfortable Alone

African American college student using laptop and blowing bubble gum bubble
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Getting used to being on their own in college is one of the challenges nearly every freshman will grapple with during their first year as a student away from home. Learning to be comfortable alone is a lesson not only for college but for life in general.

Even with roommates, significant others or lots of friends, college freshmen will find themselves alone far more often than they have ever been before.

Tell your freshman to learn to enjoy his own company as much as he enjoys his friends. This will be something that will always come in handy.

5

Don't Drink (And If You Do, Don't Drink From an Unmonitored Glass)

Young women at a party
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Of course, your college freshman shouldn't be drinking alcohol, but the reality is that underage kids often do it anyway. The excitement of attending college parties for freshmen can quickly cause them to lose all common sense and to make poor choices.

If they do end up drinking, one of the most important things every college freshman – male or female – must remember is to never drink from a cup that they are given without seeing what went into it, and never drink anything from a punch bowl.

Staying aware of what they are ingesting is key to being safe and aware of their surroundings. This rule cannot be stated too often.

6

Don't Forget Self-Care

Save to Board settings University student eating salad in canteen and talking on mobile phone School, Bavaria, Germany
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Staying healthy while living in a dorm is not easy. Germs travel quickly, junk food runs and pizza orders are commonplace, and exercise often gets moved down on the priority list as schoolwork ramps up and social life gets busier.

Fighting the tide of bad health habits that can engulf a freshman is something every parent should remind their young adult – and remind him often. He may get annoyed at your nagging, but getting sick can throw off an entire semester's worth of classes – and tuition. 

7

Ask for Help If You Need It

African American college student looking upset while reading text
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No matter what the problem – from a class that is difficult to a feeling of depression – it's very important that college freshman understand that asking for help is not a sign of weakness or failure.

Especially the first year, college students are faced with enormous challenges and changes that can be not only difficult to manage on their own but detrimental to their health and well-being.

Reassure your college freshman that asking for help is always a good idea, no matter how inconsequential or unimportant a problem may seem. 

8

Enjoy Yourself

College students playing a video game.
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The college application process has, for many, become so fraught with stress, anxiety, competition and disappointment that actually going to college is filled with lofty goals and high expectations more than ever before.

Remind your young adult that while getting good grades and graduating in four years is the reason to be in college, enjoying the experience and evolving as a person is just as important.

Let your student know that you want him to have a wonderful college experience and that you'll be there anytime he needs you.

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