As your student transitions to college, your family will experience significant changes. To help you navigate this transition, we've compiled some tips that can assist you and your student through the ups and downs of the first year.
It's important to stay connected with your student during their time at college, but also to give them space to build independence. You can discuss expectations around regular communication, such as how often you'll be in touch, if you'll schedule weekly phone calls/video chats, when you'll visit them on campus, and what rules will apply when they come home (curfew, chores, spending time with old friends, etc.).
Build a Support System
College is a time when your student will develop new friendships and professional relationships that can last a lifetime. Encourage them to build a support system outside of your family, take advantage of extracurricular activities and campus life, and consider internship opportunities to enhance their professional development. You can ask questions to learn more about their interests, such as:
- What are you planning to do outside of your class time?
- What clubs or organizations interest you?
- Have you considered any internship opportunities?
Keep an Open Dialogue
Before your student leaves for college, it's important to openly discuss any concerns or fears you may have. Talk about your expectations around academic achievement, financial responsibility, safety precautions, and how you'll hold each other accountable. This can help you establish a shared set of expectations and build trust.
Prepare for Emergencies
One of the most important discussions you can have with your student is about safety and emergency planning. Work together to develop a plan that outlines emergency contacts and supports they can call upon if needed. Having a plan in place can give you peace of mind and ensure that everyone is on the same page in case of an emergency.