In preparation to the big day, parents are choosing out new bed linens and shopping for the basic necessities for on-campus living. But, it’s also a time to prepare for their physical and mental health as well. For many young adults, this is their first time living away from home for any length of time and it can be a hard transition. Most students will get through college life with only minor hiccups, others will experience the freedom and the temptation that goes with college life and it can result in various problems. These students, in order to handle academic stresses, relationships, finances and pressures, will turn to drink, use drugs and have unprotected sex, which can easily make a very difficult outcome from college life.
Parents need to address key factors before school begins in order to avoid the many bumps in the road. The following advice is offered in order to get off to a healthy start:
- Get vaccinations and medical exams: Nearly all colleges require documentation of up-to-date immunizations. But also include a pre-college health exam as well. This includes discussions of smoking, drinking, drug-use, sexual history, health disorders and mental health concerns.
- Plan ahead for emergencies: Have the health care provider prepare a written summary of any acute or chronic conditions for college records.
- Review details of your student’s insurance plan: Make sure that it provides coverage when traveling to another state and take the time to compare the school-sponsored plan to the current one. A comprehensive plan makes sense to cover the kinds of things that can occur such as mental health, substance abuse and reproductive health issues as well as injuries.
- Prepare your student: Make sure necessary prescriptions such as EpiPens and basic medical supplies of bandages, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen, cold remedies, ice packs and a digital thermometer are readily available to handle any minor medical problems.
- Keep track of your student’s habits: Stress the importance of sleep, nutrition and exercise. Be firm when monitoring their habits, but not overly rigid.
- Encourage the use of campus support services: Most colleges have services available to help most of the students’ needs. But, unfortunately there is little tendency for students to know about or use them. So, take the time to make sure your student is aware of the campus support groups and how to get access to them.
- Stay alert to signs of stress, anxiety, depression and emotions: College academics can be very demanding along with keeping up with the many social activities, as well as homesickness. These are all factors that can lead to stress, depression or worse. Parents need to stay in tuned to their student’s behavior and if they suspect he/she is struggling they need to be proactive and encourage their student to reach out to a caregiver on campus that can help through their difficulties.
College life is very rewarding experience and it’s a time when child grows into an adult for it articulates independence, good decision-making, broadens social skills and horizons. It’s a beginning path to their adult lives and helping them stay on that path will make all the difference in the world.
Here at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency our goal is to try to help our viewers by suggesting solutions for all insurance needs. By no means can we address each reader’s specific concerns in every incident. So, we strongly advise to check with an insurance representative to address your specific needs. However, you can also contact us for any questions or concerns and we will be happy to help you. We are able to offer a complete line of personal & commercial insurance products for all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
Come visit us at www.donmedeirosinsurance.com or give us a call at 508-678-1271. We look forward to hearing from you! If you have a Facebook account, fan us at www.facebook.com/donmedeiros.
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