Aggie Moms’ Advice for New Families

Parents -

MEDICAL CARE - Choose a clinic, emergency room, and pharmacy before your student needs them. Put the names and numbers in your phone and your student's phone. Give students copies and pictures of medical/dental/optical insurance cards. Take pictures of prescriptions. Be sure they have a first aid/medical kit and know what’s in it. Include an ace bandage and put an ice pack in the freezer. Complete a Medical Power of Attorney so doctors can discuss your adult child with you if needed.


BANK ACCOUNTS - Be sure your student knows the rules and penalties for low account balances. Consider the Mint app to track spending.


MOVE-IN - Pack food, water, and cleaning basics for move-in day. The stores will be crowded and possibly out of what you want. Leave hanging clothes on hangers; pull a trash bag up around them, tied at the top, and put them in the car. Hang them in the new closet and save the trash bags to use later.


CALLING HOME - Consider planning a regular call time, but be willing to adjust/eliminate it if it doesn’t work out. When they do call, remember that they may need your listening ears more than anything else.


MAIL TO DORMS ROOMS - UPS will deliver (no need to be present to sign). FedEx and USPS will not.


KNOWING THEIR WHEREABOUTS - Advise your student that someone should know where they are at all times. (Safety first.)


Students -

MEAL PLANS - Sign up for the smallest meal plan you can. You can always add to it. Track your meal trades so you don’t end up with too many at the end of the semester. They don’t carry over. Dining Dollars carry from fall to spring, but that’s all. Get the Dine On Campus app for locations and hours. Corporate gift cards don’t all work in campus locations.


BOOKS - Don’t buy books until the class starts! Many of the classes say you’ll need them and then don’t. Before buying or renting, check Amazon. Selling back to Amazon can sometimes be a better deal than renting. If you rent, be sure you know the due dates. The late fees are crazy!


LOST STUFF - Consider using a Tile (location device) for important things. If your bike is gone, don’t assume it’s been stolen. It may have been impounded! Having a picture of the bike on your phone could help you recognize it at the impound lot. Bikes are required to be registered with TAMU.


WEATHER - It rains. Often. Sometimes out of the blue. And the campus does not drain well. Stash a small umbrella in your backpack and maybe a pocket-sized poncho. Get some rain boots or duck shoes to wear after Chaco season. Seriously.


GETTING INVOLVED - It may take you a while to find your fit. Keep trying. You may not get into the first organization you apply to. Try something else. Perseverance will pay off, even if it takes until spring or possibly even sophomore year. Many student organizations are highly competitive, including


FLOs AND ORGANIZATIONS - simply due to the number of applicants and the number of available spots. TAMU offers a workshop in the spring for students interested in forming new organizations.


REGISTERING FOR THE NEXT SEMESTER - When your allotted time comes, register for what you can. Get the hours you need. And know you’ll most likely be able to fix it during add/drop at the beginning of the next semester. Contact an advisor for help.


MOVING OFF CAMPUS - You do not really need to sign a lease in October for the following year for the vast majority of apartments. They will try to convince you that you do. They will tell you that prices will go up. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they go down. Bottom line: College Station is over-built.


STAYING IN TOUCH - Call home every now and then. Tell them first thing that you're ok (unless you’re not). Your family will appreciate it - the call and knowing you’re ok. Answer text messages from parents and grandparents. Don’t go places alone without letting someone know where you’re going. Safety first. It’s important.