What students need to know before arriving on campus
1. How to write a check and balance a checking account.
2. How to use a credit card wisely and how to evaluate the myriad offers they’ll receive once they’re at school. (Student Credit and Money Management Services, online at www.imu.uiowa.edu/money, is a campus program that offers students free and confidential financial counseling.)
3. How to budget money. If you give your student money, be clear about what it’s supposed to cover.
4. How to be assertive in communicating. Your student will run into situations where they’ll feel pressure—a group of students is going to the bars, or a roommate is staying up late and listening to loud music. Help students think about their choices and how to be assertive in communicating those choices.
5. How to do laundry. Teach them to separate their darks and whites so they’ll avoid that first-wash-of-the-semester “pink glow.”
6. The importance of personal hygiene. Remind them that they’ll be buying their own deodorant and shampoo (and their friends will like them better if they do so regularly). Remind them to change their sheets more than once per semester.
7. The need to lock their doors. Students want to be trusting of their friends, but it’s important to always lock rooms, and to not let nonresidents into their residence halls after hours.
8. How to be responsible consumers of their education. Encourage them to ask for academic and emotional support—there are lots of people at the University who want to provide assistance and numerous services available, including sessions on study skills, meetings with academic advisors, and visits with professors during office hours.