Get stories and expert advice on all things related to college and parenting.
When Pandemic Life Gives You Lemons, You Take ThemShari Bender
What are some of the ways families celebrate the return of their college students for summer? My two sons, ages 18 and 21, will be greeted by clean sheets (possibly for the first time since January). A party in and of itself!
We’re pretty low-key and that was a theme I heard a lot as I spoke about this with friends and relatives. One thing many of us have in common...
All-you-care-to-eat college dining halls lose their charm over time. Whether home-cooked or at a restaurant, we love to treat our returning college students to a special meal. “Our long-time tradition is to go straight from the airport to our favorite local restaurant, mounds of luggage locked in the car,” Lucy says. “Our children insist on it. We catch up over chips and salsa.”
The most important piece is giving the returning college student a chance to talk. There is so much to cover, from classes to friends to plans for next year.
“When my kids come home at the end of the year, they want things to be the way they left them,” Laura says. “I think it’s because they may not be home for long and they want to know that home is still home and that it will still be home when they’re away for summer jobs.” She does stock up on snacks, new bath products, and a new novel or two to kick off the season of reading-for-pleasure.
Cathy says, “For the girls, I will clean their rooms and do any laundry that has been left since the last time I opened the door, which was the morning they left. Then I let them sleep for two days!”
We all agreed that celebration is really about reconnection. “The most important piece is giving the returning college student a chance to talk,” Laura says. “There is so much to cover, from classes to friends to plans for next year.”
If you won’t have time to celebrate because your student is immediately zipping off to a summer job or internship in another location, you’re not alone. Janet notes that her daughter will only be home for one day before leaving for her summer job on a cruise ship. When students have more than one household, that can complicate things as well.