8 Things Teen Girls Need to Know Before Heading Off to College

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teen girlFor many high school seniors, the countdown has begun. It's only a matter of months now until girls and boys head off for college to learn all there is to know about anatomy, philosophy, and throwing up in the back of a cab at 2 a.m. It's a special time. But, as fun and awesome as it is, there's still some preparation that needs to be done ... preparation that goes beyond the purchase of extra-long twin sheets.

Since I a) was once a teenager, b) went to college, and c) am a lady person, here are 8 things teen girls need to know how to do before leaving home and entering the dorm.

  1. Buy tampons. A friend of mine freshman year was too embarrassed to purchase tampons, citing that they'd always just been under her bathroom sink her whole life. That sounds glorious and convenient, but make sure your daughter isn't embarrassed by this simple purchase. There are way more humiliating experiences than sliding a box of supers across a store counter, such as asking your roommate to buy them for you.
  2. Use birth control/know how it works. Make sure they know how a condom works, how birth control pills work, how STDs are contracted, and how GD fertile they are at their age. The more they know, the better -- they really can't know too much.
  3. Have a direct but kind conversation with a friend. This is a toughie, but if you practice enough at home, your daughter will be a stronger communicator and better friend in college. Many female friendships are tested when apartments are shared, and the more prepared she is to speak her mind in a calm, direct, yet kind tone, the better off she'll be.
  4. things teen girls need to know collegeMake healthy food-choices. It's not about avoiding the freshman 15, it's about knowing how food works. Teenage girls can have especially harried relationships with food from over-eating to under-eating to over-obsessing to everything in between, so make sure she feels comfortable acknowledging her connection to food and has the skills to talk about it without shame or shyness.
  5. Do a load of laundry. Never too early to learn that one, if you ask me.
  6. Walk in a room with confidence. College is chock-full of firsts, most of which are intimidating and/or exciting. Body language sends a loud and clear message, so ensure your daughter knows what signals she's putting out. She should never underestimate the power of great posture, even when she wants to curl up in a ball under the table.
  7. Manage her bank account. I don't care who's paying for what, but make sure she's clear on how much cashola she has for the semester. Make a budget that'll help her see what books cost, spring break costs, nights out cost ... etc. It'll add up fast, and the more aware she is, the better she'll be able to plan ahead.
  8. Lean on you. Or if not you, someone else. She shouldn't be afraid or, worse, ashamed to ask for help. Sometimes college isn't all rainbows and keggers. Real shit happens -- STIs, academic probation, arrests ... the list is endless. If she's feeling anxious about anything, make sure she knows she's got resources that will help her and people who love her.

There are only, oh, one thousand million more things, but this is just a start.

What are your tips for teen girls heading to college?


Photo via orangeacid/Flickr



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Zande... ZanderBomb

Use the buddy system when going out. And one of my favorites (depending on your town). Find a cab driver or two you really trust.  My friends and I always had a cab driver who had a code word.  If we every felt uncomfortable we knew we could call this drive and say our word (it was "Tomatoes") and he would come get us, no questions asked.

LostS... LostSoul88

7 of those is what people should teach teen boys too

redK8... redK8blueSt8

With the exception of buying Tampons I think boys should know how to do all of those as well.

Beverly Behringer

Never stay at an apartment complex that throws in roommates for you. It never ends well, and if you get some random guy in there, there's gonna be a problem. My fiance and I were in that situation, and the guy almost hit me while I was pregnant. The complex never did anything about this, even though they were supposed to according to their lease agreements, and we ended up having him served with papers and leaving our college town to come home in the middle of the school year. It was horrible.

nonmember avatar LOL

Sounds more like the college girl's SLUT guide.The BEST advice is to not send your teen to college and if you do make sure its not a liberal-institution-for-lower-learniing.

ViviMo ViviMo

Buddy system is a great one. But also how to time budget. Going to class and HW should be top 3!

nonmember avatar NoWay

@LOL ... how is this "Slutty"??? There was only one mention of sex and it was about responsible sex. If you think college kids don't have sex, you have your head in the sand. And why do you say not to go to college. By the time my kids get to that age, you won't even be able to work at McDonald's without a degree.

Kenny... KennyPooPoo22

How is this a slut guide? Tampons, laundry, and healthy food habbits are slutty? Get a life.


Kynda... Kyndall30

@LOL...sounds like someone's a little bitter and jealous. I take it you didn't have the opportunity to go to college.....or if you did, it was a miserable experience because of your social awkwardness? Sorry about that, but this list is a great one, and absolutely nothing about it sends a "slut guide" vibe to normal people.

jec72579 jec72579

It sounds like "LOL" didn't go to college, and might be jealous of anything that is spoken about it.

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