Get stories and expert advice on all things related to college and parenting.
Encourage Your Student to Explore Campus Career ServicesTami Campbell
One of the hardest things about sending our children off to college is the loss of daily contact.
We knew this day was coming — it’s what we raised them for. But the fact is they’re off, leading lives we don’t see, hanging out with people we don’t know.
If you and your student text or talk every day, you may not need to read any further! For the rest of us, it’s normal occasionally to be anxious or sad or frustrated by the silence that can stretch between us.
“The hardest part of Dylan’s first year was not knowing what he was up to,” Eileen remembered. “What did he have for dinner? What are his friends like?” If she made a mistake initially, it was trying to check in with him all the time — “but I got over that!” She started to relax when she realized he was figuring things out on his own. The radio silence was a mark of his growing independence.
How do you determine the right amount of contact? Beth in California said, “I don’t want to hover, but I want them to know that I care and want to know how they’re doing. With two very independent sons, I initiate most of the contact and, although they always respond, I wish they’d call or text first more often.”
A single “yeah” or “yup” as a text reply to a longer communication is not a bad sign! – Pamela in Hawaii
What about when the call finally comes and the person on the other end of the phone is in tears? “The transition to college life can be challenging, bumpy and overwhelming,” Sarah observed. “Because of the ease of electronic communications, you may get some frantic or upset phone calls.”
Her advice: “Don’t panic, don’t over-advise, don’t overreact. The best thing to do is to listen and, if you ask questions, make them open-ended. ‘How are you going to handle that? What do you think you will do?’ Sometimes they just need to vent!”
College move-in is approaching! Help your student prepare by making sure they have everything they need for a successful freshman year.