The end of the winter holiday and the start of the New Year, means it is time to get ready to return to school for most college students. We know that packing, last minute shopping, and spending time together are all on your very busy “to do” list, but do not forget the important conversations as well. No matter how old they are, you want your college student to stay safe on campus. He or she needs your guidance when it comes to staying safe at school, just as you need to know that there is a local, experienced law firm here for you 24/7 in case you encounter a crisis.

Let us share four critical topics to discuss with your children both before and after their return to school.

Watch out for fatigue. All of us get tired but, often, college students either do not realize how serious their fatigue is or they push past their limits. Talk to your child about making wise choices for both the return trip to college and then when he or she arrive back at school.

Although you may think you sound like a broken record, or your kids tell you that you do, your words are not wasted. Remind them why it is important to take care of themselves. Many college age students do not realize that drowsy driving can be just as unsafe as drunk driving and is the cause of an alarming number fatalities.

Substance misuse and abuse. Researchers agree that one of the highest occurrences of social pressure to partake in alcohol and drugs is during one’s college years. While many college students can abstain or, if they choose to partake at an eligible age, do so responsibility, others cannot. Substance misuse and abuse runs rampant on most college campuses, no matter what your child is interested in or the social activities he or she is involved with. Talk to your student about making the right choices for him or her. Do not wait to remind them that no matter what happens, you are there to help them.

Getting pulled over by law enforcement. Law enforcement officers know the schedules for most schools. They are aware when most return trips to college are occurring, as well as the major breaks throughout the year. In addition, college campuses have their own police force who are there to keep peace and order. If your child is pulled over, he or she should comply with the police officer’s reasonable requests. Ask your child how he or she would handle this situation and provide guidance. Your advice and tips could result in the interaction proceeding more smoothly if your child is pulled over upon the return trip to college or throughout the year.

Car accidents and injuries happen. As parents, it is our worst nightmare to receive a telephone call that our child has been in a car accident. It can happen, though, and it is something you should discuss with your college student right now. Let him or her know that in addition to getting help for those involved, if he or she is able, you also need to be contacted. There is no time to waste when a car accident happens and having a plan with your college student ahead of time can make all the difference in getting the help you need.

These are just a few of the ways you can help your college student successfully return to college. Whether they are traveling by car, plane, or just walking down the street, make sure you maintain good communication throughout the year. If you need help for yourself or your college student, do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced member of our local, legal team.