Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Off to college....

Graduation is over, and before you know it your son or daughter will be trying to squeeze all their belongings into two pieces of luggage as they prepare to head off to college. Charging up the cell phone and purchasing enough underwear to last them an entire month (no laundry!) is important, but we have a new book on the shelves that covers the really vital college preparations. Protect Yourself at College, by Thomas M. Kane, explains all the important parts of college life that can become dangerous: hazing, alcohol & drugs, dating, cyber crime, dorm life and Spring Break. The idea of their 18-year-old let loose in a strange town with a pocket full of money and no supervision can make any parent's hair turn white, and this book is not going to allay those fears. In fact, it might make parents really nervous about their child's college experience. But the information is very important, and your child should at least hear some of the tips in this book. They shouldn't be too concerned about people surreptitiously filming up their skirt at the mall (c'mon, how often does that happen?), but they should know to keep their dorm room door locked and to not accept beverages handed to them by strangers at a party. Reading this book will not prevent your kids from taking risks at school (they're immortal teenagers, remember?), but somewhere in the back of their memory will be a little voice saying "I don't think you should walk across campus at midnight by yourself".

A warning note about this book: it's tone is somewhat sensational and it reads like those fearmongering 'investigative reports' you see on local news. You don't want to scare the pants off your kids (or yourself), so take the narrative with a grain of salt.

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