A lot of us are sending our kids off to college for the first time. It's stressful and exciting all at once, and I think if we just remember some of what we learned when we went off to school, it can really make things easier. So here are a few tips:
- Make sure your student knows how to dial long-distance. If they haven't done it often, it can be confusing. Since direct-dialing means sitting in the phone booth with a pile of dimes, it's best to just show him or her how to make an operator-assisted collect call. Yes, collect calls cost more, especially if they're person-to-person, so tell her to make it a station-to-station call.
- When calling your student, understand that he won't always remember to be by the hall phone at the appointed time, or there may be another student using the phone. If another student answers, make sure you have your student's room number so the hallmate can easily check if they're in. If not, just ask them to leave a short message on the dry erase board.
- Mail time is the biggest moment of every student's day. Even a short letter from friends and family is a great way to stay in touch. Every now and then, send a sheet of stamps so your student doesn't run out. If your student is particularly homesick, consider a mail subscription to the local newspaper - it'll bring a touch of home into her mailbox every day!
- Money is always in short supply for students. If your student is close by, she may be able to keep a bank account with her home bank, but if she's going across state or out of state, she'll need a new bank. If you're sending checks, remember they can take a week to 10 days to clear.
- Care packages are great, but don't limit yourself to cookies and Rice Krispie squares. Kids also need fresh typewriter ribbons and Ko-Rec-Type. I know that as a student, I never had enough Ko-Rec-Type, and it's expensive!