Parents of College Freshmen: What if Your Child Desperately Wants to Come Home After Only a Week or Two?
Freshman homesickness abounds in the first and even into the second semester of college. It’s not unusual. But sometimes it gets so bad that your new college student desperately wants to come home. They fear they’ve made a huge mistake and want to set the reset button.
A parent’s reaction to the sobbing pleas to come home can make a huge difference. After you have expressed your empathy and understanding, you can gently point out:
So, if your college freshman has started to describe their college as hell on earth, hang in there. Brighter days are coming. Listen, give some gentle advice, send care packages, and know that the homesickness is a measure of how much they love you and the life you provided for them and that the homesickness will end. It may not be as soon as you or they will want, but it will!
If you are one of the millions of new college students headed to orientation in a few days, here are some tips to help you get the most out of it while not feeling like you’re going crazy.
Orientation is the one time that colleges have your undivided attention – at least for part of it. And they have lots and lots of information they have every reason to believe you need or may need in the coming months and years. College administrators and faculty spend months planning it. It’s a big deal. It’s your first impression of the college, so everything has to look good. Many people are moving in at once, so they have to be highly organized. Programs have to be information-rich, entertaining, and mounted at times that don’t conflict with each other. It’s an extraordinary feat, and one which is notoriously difficult to pull off without a hitch.
Just do the following few things to ensure your orientation is a good one:
For many years, as a dean at three Ivy League colleges and now as an AVP at a university with an extraordinary mission, I have had a front row seat to the obstacles to success that college students and their parents confront every year. Even at so-called elite, highly selective colleges such as Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia, where I spent some of my career, students struggle on a daily basis to remain healthy, happy, grounded, and to stay in school. I am dedicated to helping them.