Top 5 Things Many Parents Forget To Talk With Their College Freshman About

[caption id="attachment_1158" align="alignnone" width="320"]College Freshman College Freshman[/caption]

By Jon Hull, Author / Life & Legacy Information Expert

It’s a proud, exciting, scrambling, nail biting time when parents across the country prepare to send their child off to college for the first time. Eyes are full of wonderment for the future and so many items need to be discussed. The basics are covered, books, dorm furnishings, new clothes, boys and girls, focuses and distractions, money and budgeting.

But, there is a conversation that many parents don’t think of having which can be more important than all of the others combined; What if there is an emergency?

Here are the top 5 things to talk with your child about before they leave.

1) What if your student is injured? Do they have a wallet card for emergency contact info, and an I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) number programmed in to their mobile phone? If not, how will you know they are hurt? How long will it be before you know, days? make sure the contact information is available for emergency responders to contact you so you know and can supply medication warnings and other allergy conditions. It may be that you need to go to your child and you will want to know as soon as possible, not a day or two later.

2) What if there is an incident on campus, or a natural disaster? Talk with your student about this and that they need to contact you as soon as possible so that you are not freaking out! The student also needs to know that if cell towers are out, texting can usually get through because they route differently. Please don’t assume your student knows this. If you talk about it, they are 50% more likely to remember when they might be scared.

3) What if something happens to you? Does your student know who is in charge should something happen to you? Generally, this will be the personal agent named in your estate plan and your student needs to know who this is and how to contact them as well. When distance is involved during an emergency, being able to communicate quickly is everything.

4) What if your student is abused in some way? Talk through how to avoid putting themselves in a possible situation, but if something does happen that you want to be the first to know. Your student can be embarrassed or shamed in to not saying anything and they need to know you are there to help without judgement.

5) Does your student have a signed medical directive? If your child is in the hospital you need the legal means to be able to talk with doctors in many cases. Youyr student is an adult now and the laws require this document. They will always be your baby, but as an adult they are viewed differently by the laws of our country.

We all hope nothing will happen, but the fact is it happens to thousands of college students every year. Hope is not a plan. Please talk with your child about these, “what ifs” before they leave for school. If something does happen, you will be on top of it rather than being grief stricken because you could have avoided delay by just doing some simple planning.

Jon Hull is Co-Author of the book, A Legacy Undone. He writes about items to keep us safe and 
to protect our money. You can read more articles at


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