Checklist for Sending Students Back To College
It’s going to be a challenging year for university students, but for those who are willing to give it the old college try, there are a number of things to consider when preparing for in-person school. The following checklist will help you or your child best prepare for an uncertain and unusual school year.
Have masks, more masks, and even more backup masks.
Even though most colleges will be mandating masks this year, they won’t necessarily be providing masks to those who forget them. No one wants to cross campus just to find out they have to go all the way home for a mask, so students should keep extra disposable masks in backpacks, purses, pockets, inside books, or wherever they might find one handy.
Keep that room clean!
Every parent wants their child to maintain a tidy dorm room or apartment, but during a pandemic it’s critical that commonly touched surfaces are routinely disinfected. Students returning to campus should be prepared for at least a semester of cleaning door handles, desks, fridges, and other shared surfaces with disinfectant.
Keep basic medical supplies stocked.
A small emergency kit is always a good thing to have, but especially during a pandemic. Include bandages, over-the-counter or prescription medications, disposable gloves, and thermometers. Students will need to be able to accurately take their own temperature, as a fever is one of the most common signs of COVID-19.
Avoid routine doctor appointments.
Make sure all college-bound students have recently had a physical and are up to date on shots. They’ll want to avoid healthcare facilities on campus, if possible.
Make duplicates of critical personal information.
College students tend to lose things like wallets and purses. Make sure that copies have been made of important things like ID cards, driver’s licenses, health insurance cards, and social security cards, in the event that this information is needed by a medical professional.
Avoid large gatherings, such as parties and bars.
College students always need a way to relax and de-stress, but they will need constant reminders about the dangers of being in large groups of people that aren't social distancing or wearing masks.
Know how to take care of mental health issues.
It’s going to be a stressful year for many students, and campuses have a variety of mental health resources that will be more valuable than ever. Talk about topics like anxiety, stress, and depression, and keep a list of websites and contact info for campus resources that can help with mental health issues as needed.