Today’s post is by guest blogger Nancy Berk, Ph.D. Nancy is the author of College Bound and Gagged: How To Help Your Kid Get Into A Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind. A clinical psychologist, comic, professor, and parent, she blogs for The Huffington Post and USA TODAY College.
Whether you’re a homesick or ecstatic college freshman, being on your own can mean some surprises. And because Mom might not be around the corner, here’s some motherly advice to keep you on track….
• Don’t air your dirty laundry—wash it – That’s right, clean is good, but there’s lots to learn. Dark and light clothes do not mix because their colors will. If you love gray, then feel free to wash the black t-shirts with the white tennis shorts. Mixing reds with whites will get you pink. (It’s all about that color wheel!) Hot water will often maximize the damage and shrinkage.
TIP: Wash light and dark clothes separately. When in doubt, use cold water.
• Everything in moderation—especially junk food – The land of limitless pizza and hoagies is tempting. Shifting from home cooking to dining hall dishes and fast food may be fun, but it can shock your system and your waistline. The Freshman 15 happens for a reason.
TIP: Enjoy indulging every now and then, but recognize the repercussions and don’t forget to exercise.
• Procrastination will come back to bite you – If “All Nighters” sound fun, you haven’t pulled one. Tough course loads and crammed schedules can make them inevitable, but the more proactive you are, the happier you will be down the road. Sleep deprivation is never comfortable and term papers created the night before a deadline are rarely top notch.
TIP: Whenever possible, stay ahead of the game.
• Don’t run with pencils or the wrong crowd – Your safety is our number one priority, but we are no longer able to nag you about it in person. Now it’s up to you to make good decisions and think about the consequences of your actions.
TIP: Every now and then repeat this phrase―“What would my parents say?”
• Better safe than sorry – If you’ve got a feeling something is dangerous, take precautions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or an escort before walking alone after dark. Don’t worry that exiting an uncomfortable social situation might offend someone. And when you are ill, phone home and find a friend who will help you get the care you need.
TIP: Invest in a thermometer. Always have your cell phone and a few dollars in your pocket.
What tips and tricks did Mom pass down to you? When have you needed to call Mom from campus? Share your perspective in a comment below.