Topics To Cover With Your Teen Before They Go Off To College

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College student writing on desk

Heading off to college is an exciting time in your child’s life. While they probably can’t wait to leave, you will feel sad about the fact that they’re not going to be around the house anymore. While there are a lot of emotions to be experienced and to-dos to check off the list, it’s important to stay focused on the important issues.

Set aside time to chat with your teenager about what they can expect in college. Cover different topics each week and keep their attention focused on the discussion at hand by asking questions and getting their opinion. See topics to cover with your teen before they go off to college.


Remind your child that they’re going to be in a public environment with a lot of people they don’t know. There’s going to be a risk of unwanted situations and crimes that may occur. Tell them that it’s important to equip themselves with pepper spray if necessary and always be on the lookout for danger. Walking at night is especially unsafe, so ask them to walk with a friend and have their phone handy.

Partying & Safe Sex

A big part of college is the party scene. It’s a way for college students to express their freedom and celebrate them moving out of their parent’s home. However, you need to talk to your teen how to be safe in such an environment. Ask that they practice safe sex and remind them of what could happen if they don’t by going over the statistics of STDs in San Francisco. Explain how partying too much puts them in danger of other poor decisions and harmful behaviors.


Discuss with your teen the reason they’re going to college in the first place. Make a point to tell them how important their studies are to you and that it should be their number one focus. It’s not that they have to be perfect, but explain a deliberate disregard for their classes and grades won’t be tolerated. Talk to them about responsibility and the fact that they have to work hard to prove themselves in this new environment. Give them a list of resources they can contact if they’re struggling and need help once on campus.

Mental Health & Sleep

Discuss mental health and sleep with your teen before they leave. You won’t be with them, so it’s important that you tell them to be honest with you if they’re not feeling well. College is filled with high levels of stress, and it’s important your child knows and can recognize the warning signs. Tell them the benefits of sleep and what your brains, bodies and thoughts do when they’re sleep-deprived. It’s important to get on the right track from the start, and notify a professional when sleep and mental health declines.


College is a major transition for you and your child. Take the time to chat with them and find out where their head’s at. These are tips to cover with your teen before they go off to college.

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