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Getting Used to College Life

As a parent sending your child off to college, you may be experiencing a range of emotions…possibly anxiety, fear, and/or uncertainty about what to expect.  Although the change may seem overwhelming at first, this is also an opportunity for you to redefine your relationship with your son or daughter.  You may even find that it makes the relationship stronger as they gain increased independence.  Despite the transition toward adulthood, your student will still need and value your wisdom, love, and encouragement.

Like many parents, you may also experience a bit of separation anxiety.  You may be struggling with the idea of finally “letting go” of the child you have spent countless hours parenting, mentoring, and caring for.  You may now feel a void without your role as primary caretaker.  Although this is understandable, it’s also important to let your son or daughter know that they have your support for this significant transition.  Your student will also benefit from knowing that you trust his/her judgment and ability to make good decisions because of the values you have instilled.  We encourage you to stay involved…it is essential for your student’s success.  At the same time, balance is the key-staying invested and interested while also allowing them space to grow on their own.

Needless to say, communication will be key in your new relationship.  To help you better understand what your student might be going through, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the cycle of events that new students typically encounter.  Additionally, you can provide further support and guidance by being knowledgeable about common emotional reactions to these events.  With these things in mind, you will be well on your way to having productive conversations that will facilitate the success of your student.  Click here to view the cycle of events and corresponding emotions.

page last updated 9/30/2014 2:14 PM