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!
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.