After a whirlwind summer of celebrating the end of their secondary school years your student is now entering the emotional first weeks of their college career. First semester students have lots of things to deal with; leaving the comfortable surroundings of home, settling into life on a college campus, making new friends, navigating campus, and of course attending classes. For many students this is their first attempt at independent living and their first attempt at managing money. All of these events may cause students to experience stress which often times leads the student to becoming homesick. The feeling of homesickness is normal but there are ways you can help the transition go more smoothly.
For some of you as parents your student has simply moved across town; for other parents your student may have moved hundreds of miles away from home. You can be supportive from any distance and it is important that your student recognizes this.
As a parent you may ask what you can do to help your student successfully transition. Be a good listener and allow your student to tell you about their new adventures. Encourage your student to reach out to their Resident Assistant (RA) or their Resident Director (RD); these students are returning students that have been trained to assist students as they transition to life on a university campus. These peer leaders have been through many of the same things themselves. The RA's and RD's also have information about fun activities and events that will help your student become involved and help them to meet new people.
If you feel your student is really struggling with the transition to college life, you could recommend a visit to the Student Wellness Center at http://www.atu.edu/cslcenter. In addition to providing your student with various types of health and medical services, they also provide counseling services.