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The pace of college life is invigorating, but it can also be exhausting. Whenever you have the chance, take time to mentor your student in healthy life habits. Here are tips to share and discuss!
Stress in college doesn't have to be a given. There are many proven ways to manage stress.
Talk with your student about what has worked for them in the past, and about people you both may know who do a good job leading balanced lives. Encourage your student to integrate at least one stress-busting practice in their daily routine.
In college, students may not eat as well as they did at home. Some talking points:
It’s normal for students to experience disruptions to their sleep schedule in college. There are ways to facilitate a good night's sleep and productive day:
Drinking is a major health concern on college campuses and increases the risk for accidents, sexual assault, violence, unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and poor academic performance. Talk with your student about drink limits. If they are underage, encourage them to wait to drink as there are legal consequences for underage drinking. Help your student establish healthy boundaries and talk about alternatives to drinking alcohol.
If your student chooses to drink, educate them on the dangers of binge drinking — for females that’s four or more drinks and for males five or more drinks in a short period of time. Pre-gaming is a common practice on college campuses that can lead to all sorts of unfavorable outcomes for students. The more they know about drugs and alcohol, the more likely they are to make wise choices.
The National Institute of Health has online information for parents about college drinking statistics, and advice for how to talk about it with your student.
College campuses offer health and resource centers to address most of your student's needs. If you are able to visit campus, familiarize yourself with where everything is and what’s offered; browse the website, too. Talking with your student about what is available can empower them to reach out and get help if needed.
Help your student take the best possible care of themselves and get support when they need it.