Helping Your College Freshman Adjust to Life Away From Home

Helping Your College Freshman Adjust to Life Away From Home
  • Opening Intro -

    Leaving home for college for the first time is usually exciting, but it can also be stressful.

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No matter how ready students are for this change, they still often experience feelings of homesickness. To help make this transition easier for your son or daughter, consider the following tips.

Fight the Urge To Hover

You have been there every step of the way throughout your child’s life, so it is natural that you would want to step in when you hear that telltale tone of voice over the phone that lets you know things aren’t going so well.

Having their parents swoop in to save the day, however, may not be what freshmen need most.

Adjusting to new circumstances is a skill best learned by doing. While you may want to call every day to check in or jump on the nearest plane when you hear that sweet, tearful voice, the best course of action is usually just to listen.

When you offer support instead of taking over, you communicate that you believe in your young adult’s ability to tackle the problem.

Send Care Packages

Sometimes, all that is needed to ease homesickness is a little box of love from home. Small, thoughtful gifts can have a big impact. Collect some favorite snacks and a few gift cards for favorite stores and ship it to the dorm.

Gourmet gift baskets can be a nice change from the noodle packets and microwave popcorn stashed in the room. Even a funny card or note can brighten your student’s day, and a little extra spending money never hurts either. Getting packages and mail from home can remind them they are loved and missed.

Encourage Campus and Community Involvement

One of the best cures for the loneliness of homesickness is meeting new people. There’s more to college than going to class. Universities also offer a wide variety of ways to get involved on campus, and students can build friendships that last a lifetime by joining groups that share their passions. Encourage your freshman to find a student organization that piques his or her interest.

other valuable tips:

Civic-minded students may enjoy volunteering, and this can help them get to know their new community a little better. Branching out and establishing social roots can help young adults learn to love their home away from home.

Even good change can be scary. Using these strategies can help your college freshman overcome homesickness and adjust to college life.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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