In the Know – Conversations Before College

Last week, my husband, son and I headed to Appalachian State University for freshman orientation. Wow…it is really here. College.

This time of entering college is a transition that is both joyful and stressful; adjustments are everwhere. Conversations with our students can really be helpful as the time approaches. Try to find some time; lunch out or sitting by a pool, to ask a few of these questions and pave the road for a smoother transition:

Automobile Issues:
Will I have a car on campus? (Which car?)
Who pays for gas? insurance? repairs?
Should repairs be arranged without parental advice?

Connections to Home:
What will happen to my bedroom? (new use?)
Will things left behind be put in storage or moved?
Must I call in advance of a trip home for the weekend?
Can I bring a friend home for a weekend? Male? Female?
Can I come home every weekend if I want?
When home for weekends/breaks, what rules apply?
Required chores or OK to just relax?
OK to bring home LOTS of dirty laundry? Who does it? 🙂

Will I have a pre-set allowance?
Will money be sent on a regular basis or only on request?
How will money be transferred?
Will I have a family or personal credit card and what can I use it for?
Will I establish a local bank account?
Is a part-time job expected?
If I join a club, fraternity or sorority, will you help with my fees and dues?
Who pays for concert tickets, movies, outings and other entertainment?

Academic Planning:
How do you expect to be involved in my selection of a major or courses?
With the assistance of my academic advisor; can I drop a class, change my schedule, etc on my own?
What (seriously) do you expect my grades to be at the end of the first semester?

Visit to Campus:
Will family members visit me on campus this semester?
Will there be advanced arrangements?
Is it OK for my boy/girlfriend from home to visit me?
On family visits, can I invite my roommate/friend/date to join for dinners, etc. (your treat)?

Lots of answers to these questions will change over the time that our children are at college. As they do, be sure to keep those lines of communication open!

Thanks to the Parent Connection at Appalachian State University for these great questions!



  1. My daughter is attending community college this year, but some of these questions still apply. I'm saving the list so when she transfers I'll still have the others. It's a great list, with lots of things I haven't considered. Thank you!

  2. Some of these questions I have been plugging into every conversations; the list is so big, but really so good! I have to admit, there are are few I really don't want to address such as "What will you do when your car breaks down? Who will be paying for it!!"

  3. Great list Lynn!! Very helpful. Thanks for posting it!!

    I'm so thankful not to be the only mom in my circle of friends sending my child off to University soon.

    Cherishing each moment,

  4. I literally laughed out loud. NEEDS for college. Questions for college. Graduating is only temporary. The needs come back agagin. God knows we're all like this. Thank you Lord for being our stable place called home.

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