Common Sense At College 101

Before your child heads off to college make sure you have a long conversation with them and go through some basic, common sense principles with them. These may seem basic and common sense to you but trust that many kids may not really understand them. Even if you think your child has them all mastered, it won’t hurt to have one more heart-to-heart, “mom and dad know best” conversations. Here are some items you may want to review with your child and make sure they know how to do the following:


·         Understand how to use a debit card. At a minimum the student needs to know how to deposit and withdraw money and check their balance. Explain what it means to overdraw and emphasize the negative consequences.

·         Know how to write a check.

·         Know how to address an envelope and where to put a stamp.

·         Understand basic first aid principles – know how/when/why to take medicine. Understand dosages and what it is supposed to do.

·         Know how to do laundry.  Basics like separating colors and whites, water temperature, when to hand wash, what to dry by hand, how to use bleach, etc.

·         Uncomfortable as it might be, have a conversation with them about drinking, drugs, and sex. Make sure your kid is safe and making good choices.

·         Understand the importance of cleaning a room once in a while and having fresh sheets.

·         Keep food fresh and throw old food out.

·         Understand the basics of locking the room and keeping possessions safe.


Janet Eggenberger is the mother of three - 2 college girls and a high school boy. Janet is a member of the admissions team at a private college in Illinois.  She is a contributing blogger for EleMental Learning Tutoring.