College Advice - San Antonio,TX

Updated on May 24, 2012
M.B. asks from Lafayette, LA
18 answers

My daghter will be heading north for college in the fall. We are super proud of her and excited to see how this new chapter in her life plays out.

With that being said - I am working on a "Don't forget to..." book. It will have some silly (It's OK to eat leftover pizza for breakfast ONCE in while), some sentimental (Don't forget to call your sister weekly...or more often) and definitely some serious stuff (Lock your car door as soon as you get in AND then make your phone calls, count your money, etc.).

Any advice you wish someone would have given you, that you found useful or that you pass on all the time? Any and all ideas are welcomed.

She will be living on campus with a roommate in an all girl dorm, she will have her car, she PLANS on getting a PT job (although, I would like for her to concentrate this first year and get used to the first year of college and being on her own), she will be moving north where there is lots of snow (we are south - where she's only seen snow ONCE)...

Thanks Mamas!

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

have her divide her money into monthly amounts not one big lump. My sons are very different people. my oldest worked all summer and then divided his money so that he had it to last the whole school year. he didn't run out and didn't run short. my next son used it as he wanted and by christmas was just about out. ended up having to work all winter break and then part time through the year.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Do not get into the car of someone who drank.

I know this is not pleasant, but lots of kids, party... in college.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

As a California girl, I was not that familiar with snow, either, and then went to college in New Hampshire, in what turned out to be the coldest winter in 75 years. Wow, was that a culture shock!

My advice is, buy a much warmer jacket than you think you need - and make sure it is parka-length (covers your butt!). THEN, LABEL IT prominently inside the jacket with your name and phone number. When you go to parties, hide the jacket underneath a couch or behind a chair or something - otherwise, some drunken idiot will "borrow" your jacket and you'll never see it again. I learned that one the hard way and spent a few VERY cold weeks until I could buy a new one. :(

What other advice?... just because the cafeteria has an all-you-can-eat area doesn't mean you need to eat all you can.

At parties, never, ever leave without your girlfriends, and don't leave your girlfriends alone at the party.

It's important to sort dark and light laundry. Also remember that dorm dryers are WAY hotter than your dryer at home - careful, or you'll shrink everything! Label all your laundry (except your underwear - don't label that! LOL).

When you walk in snow, you can't walk upright with your shoulders back. On an icy sidewalk, that is a recipe for disaster, and you'll slip backwards and crack your head on the pavement (been there, done that!). Instead, you kind of have to hunch over and plod along. Find a friend from Chicago or Boston. They will show you how it's done. Or find a friend from NYC and she'll show you how to do it in 5" stiletto heels. ;)

Remember that even though your roommate is crazy, you only have to live with her for a short amount of time, in the grand scheme of things. Grin and bear it.

Remember that everything will end up on YouTube. Everything. Plan accordingly.

That's all I can think of for now!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Ignore all the credit card solicitors, invest in a good pair of snow boots and nice winter coat, learn the bus routes so you dont have to drive as much, save the nummber to a cab company in your cell phone (just in case), have an ample supplies of snacks and caffeine for all nighters, have fun but stay safe, oh and wear shower shoes! Lol

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Our son is 6 foot something and build like an NFL linebacker, but if I told him once, I told him 6 times, NOT to accept an open drink from ANYONE.

I'm not dumb, I knew he would go to parties and drink, but the drugs today can bring down even a big guy. I also heard another mom tell her son that he didn't have to feel pressured to drink. To take his cup (or bottle) with him to the bathroom and pour some out, or even outside and 'accidentally' spill it. That way you can get more and you're not really drinking that much.

I agree with the other poster about letting her know about the washers and dryers. Our son didn't have too much problems, or at least that I knew of. But our niece is originally from NY and going to K-State, so our house is the 'landing' area between home and school. She called in a panic once because her ride was ready to leave campus but her clothes were still wet. I told her to throw them in a basket and we'd figure it out when she got her. She was trying to dry her sheets, jeans and towels all together!

You didn't say how north she was going but I agree with the other posters about good boots and coat and scraper. Also make sure her wiper fluid in her car is the kind that has a deicer.

And as Katie B said. . . to have fun, but be safe. Don't be stupid and make good choices!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with Jo W. - boots! I live in Minnesota and it seems that among young people, boots, hats, mittens, scarves have become fashion statements, which is great! What my mother told me was - if you're not going to wear them, at least keep a pair of boots, mittens, and hat in the car at all times! Even in a city, a slight accident or running out of gas can become very uncomfortable and even dangerous in the winter.

Keep the gas tank at least half full, in the winter. Gas lines can freeze. My dad had to drive to my campus and help me thaw out my car one time (we had a VERY cold winter that year).

Keep a windshield ice scraper in the car (in MN we keep it there except for about 3 or 4 months out of the year).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

Try new sorority rush! I don't know about your daughter, but I was extremely shy in high school. Not very involved because I always had an after school job. My sister-in-law was in sorority and mentioned that I should just go through rush and see what I thought. I joined a sorority and my whole life changed. I found my voice there and many, many friends. I have to say those experiences in college and getting my education as an elementary teacher really brought me out of my shell and made me realize I love meeting all kinds of people!
What a neat book. I wish I would have had one of those! I will have to remember that when my kids go off to college some day!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Buy her a pair of boots! My daughter just graduated from Xavier in Cincinnati. Their climate is pretty much the same as St Louis but all she talked about was she was freezing to death. By her second year she was more than just slightly obsessed with snow boots. :p

Your daughter may look at you funny but trust me, snow boots!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Our daughter just graduated from a Northeastern college!!!!

She was the same. Had NEVER seen real snow.. just Texas snow.

Loved it, the entire experience. Also lived in a dorm the entire time.. apparently this is not unusual up there.

Be sure to purchase an insulated water proof snow jacket.. Rain boots and snow boots.

Our daughter ordered them once she was up there, with the help and suggestions of her dorm mates that were from the northeast.

Make sure she takes lots of pictures.

For Text books she can check Amazon to compare prices.
.. Amazon Prime will mail them free for students. .

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

"Don't be a fool, don't believe in fools and always be grateful for what you have."

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Champaign on

Find a club or organization to get involved in. Classes are important (very important), but a huge part of the college experience is life outside of the classroom. Be a good student, but have a lot of good, clean fun in the process!

Some of the best memories I have are from the organizations I was a part of. That and late night study session with my two closest friends - popcorn and Hershey's Kisses helped us survive stats!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Ah yes, she will need boots, a good warm winter coat, a scarf to wrap aruond her face, a good hat or two, and two pairs of waterproof gloves. A good ice scraper is essential as well as the low temp. wind shield wiper fluid that won't freeze. Lots of sweaters, too, and clothes for those in between chilly days. Chapstick.
Some good advice is never to walk around on campus after 5 pm alone. Always have a walking buddy.



answers from Washington DC on

Copied from Catherine

At parties, never, ever leave without your girlfriends, and don't leave your girlfriends alone at the party.




answers from Dallas on

Without trying to strike fear into her, remind her don't forget to always tell someone where you are going and who you are going with (especially when going out on a date with a new guy). There are some crazies out there!



answers from College Station on

My husband was given a "Bachelor's Manual", though I don't remember exactly that that was the name on it. In this medium-sized spiral notebook, his mom had recipes (some basics and a couple of his favorite desserts), clothes washing instruction reminders, and such.

I think you are doing a heart-felt and very loving thing. Your daughter may not appreciate it right away, but she will later!



answers from Houston on

My biggest mistake as a college student was that I would sign up for free stuff and get a credit card, but would cut it up as soon as I got it....not knowing that the credit card was still open under my name and looked so bad on my credit when I had like 10 open credit cards....that is just something I did not realize and hope to save others from making that mistake...BEST WISHES to your DAUGHTER!!! Take care and God bless



answers from Albuquerque on

I like the other answers, and I thought of a few more:

1. Keep an eye on the car! Check tire air pressure, oil level, washer fluid, radiator fluid, and etc regularly! (Show her how to do these, if she doesn't already know.)
2. It's okay to NOT drink. You won't seem any "less cool."
3. Make friends, find out who you can trust, in case you really need somebody.
4. Step outside your box--try out things you wouldn't normally try (clubs, sports, etc).
5. Learn to cook (even if it's just scrambled eggs or hamburger helper)!
6. Just say "No" (to drugs and credit card offers)!
7. Do whatever you can to avoid taking out student loans.
8. Wait to buy your books--sometimes you won't even need them, and lots of places have a very short return policy.
9. Take an assortment of classes. (Does she have a major picked? Is she fairly sure of it?) Everything from biology, geography, and astronomy to physics, English Literature, and Ethics--now is the chance to find out what subjects really interest you!
10. Study and have fun! These years will be fun, busy, stressful, exhausting, exhilarating, and everything in-between! Make the most of it!!

Good luck to your daughter! I truly loved being in college!



answers from Tampa on

I did something like this for both of our daughters when they left for college, but I also included "advice from your Mom and Dad . things we wish we had known" They both loved it. My husband wrote a bunch of stuff from the guys point of view about relationships, sex, what guys really want, what they mean, how to care for your car, simple household maitnence, Little fix it type stuff, etc. I wrote stuff that was just funny, or sometimes useful. Household hints, advice, etc. Both books were quite long. We included old photos of the girls and other family members when we were writing to not forget to call so and so on their birthday because a message on facebook simply isn't the same. They really loved the pictures. We also included a calandar that we had printed online, and we had all of the important family dates printed on the calandar too, so they wouldn't need to remember them. (birthdays, anneversaries, etc.) We were only 2 hours from both of our daughters when they were at school, but it still feels like thousands of miles some days. It's so amazing to let them go and see how well they do, and how proud you will be when you see them manage to function in the "adult world" Your daughter will do well I am certain. I know that anything that you write in the book for her will be cherished and from my own experience, she will take it out to read and reread whenever she is feeling a little homesick. Great job M.! Good luck! :)

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