3 Things Your Teen Needs to Know About Living Away at College

August 6, 2019 

Living on campus means studying new subjects and meeting new people—taking advantage of all that collegiate life has to offer. For many, it also marks the first time they will live independently as young adults.

If this describes you, you might want to take a minute to consider the responsibilities of living on your own.  Of course, your school cares about your well-being, and there will be people you can go to for help. But, for the first time, you may be away from parents who know your health history, dietary needs, and living habits. Never fear! With a little planning, you can begin to assume those responsibilities that all adults share.

Illness or Injury

The time to prepare for being sick or hurt is before it happens. Many schools Living Away At Collegeinclude a Student Health Service for their undergraduates. However, you will need to take the initiative in getting proper care when you don’t feel well. This includes:

  • -An Ounce of Prevention. Even better than getting well is not getting sick in the first place! Try to maintain healthy habits. Pulling all-nighters while slamming down energy drinks is a common perception of college life, but stop and think about the effects of living that lifestyle continuously. Eat nutritiously and get enough sleep and exercise. Don’t ignore your body’s needs because of the big final coming up. Next week the final will be over, but you’ll still be in the same body!
  • -Knowing your allergies and sensitivities. Avoid things that trigger them. For mild reactions, keep a supply on hand of whatever OTC allergy medication works best for you. In the event that you have a severe attack and need medical attention, make sure the doctor knows what set off the attack.
  • -Thinking Ahead. Unfortunately, if you get a cold, Mom’s not going to be there with tea and honey. Stock up on whatever makes you feel better when you have minor ailments or discomfort: tissues, cough drops, Band-Aids, whatever you’re used to at home. The last thing you want to do when you have the sniffles is stand in line at the drugstore!

Good in, Good Out: Food Safety

Many freshmen take advantage of their school’s dining facilities, but some meal plans require you to fend for yourself on the weekends. Knowing the basics of food safety can help you avoid missed classes and a very upset digestive system. What foods need to be refrigerated? What is the difference between a use by and a sell by date? How do you determine if a food has gone bad? (Hint: not by tasting.)

Can Your Room Pass the White Glove Test?

The old-fashioned test for cleanliness was to run a white-gloved finger across a surface and check for dust. You may not aspire to such standards, but keeping a reasonably clean room will make for a healthier environment (and a happier roommate). Don’t leave food-encrusted dishes around. Wipe hard surfaces and wash bedding, clothing, and towels at the same rate you do at home. Also, be CAREFUL when using cleaning products—they are chemicals. You may have seen both bleach and ammonia at home, for example, and yet never realized that Mom did not use them together (they are toxic if mixed).

College is a time for experiencing new situations and testing new ideas. However, the mature student recognizes the advantages of also using knowledge already tested at home.

At A+ Test Prep and Tutoring, our focus is always on you. Our practices are based on the latest developments in educational theory and research. Our outstanding tutors can help you with standardized testing, executive functioning, or achievement in any other school subject. If you would like more information, our Client Service Directors Anne Stanley and Susan Ware are available to answer questions and provide solutions. You may reach either of them by calling A+ Test Prep and Tutoring at 215-886-9188.


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