College Visits and Risky Behaviors

Sometimes I feel like I’m rehashing things many parents already know.  But a study has just come out revealing an  opportunity I hadn’t thought of for teens to engage in risky behaviors:  college visits teens make as they are choosing a college to attend.  An article discussing the study, written by SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), revealed that “…51 percent of teens who reported drinking during the overnight visit said they had done so for the first time.  Fifty-two percent of respondents who reported engaging in some type of sexual activity during their visit indicated that they participated in behaviors in which they had not previously engaged.” If I were a parent, and my child said, “A couple of my friends and I are going to visit ____ College next weekend,” I think I might counter, “I’ll be happy to go with you to any of the colleges on our short list…let’s plan a visit to one of those colleges together.”  The article has other suggestions for parents and teens considering college visits, so that they leave campus having had a good, safe experience.