College Survival Tips

It is not uncommon for parents to struggle with the departure of their child to college. Contrary to popular belief, separation anxiety is not something that is only experienced by younger children who are preparing to take the plunge into college life, or those who already find themselves living in college dorms. As children prepare to leave the homes they grew up in for college, parents also experience the same kind of anxiety.

It is natural for concerned parents to be worried about their children when they are leaving home. Despite being more connected thanks to the internet and social media, parents will need to rely on inconsistent and sporadic contacts to get a glimpse of what is going on with their children.

However, the anxiety that parents feel becomes a problem when they find it hard to let go. Such parents often find themselves continuously thinking about their child, over fears of something going wrong. It is therefore important to have a rock solid plan for the “what ifs”.

According to psychiatrists, when a student leaves their home for college, the move signifies an emotional response to the act of separation between both the parents and the child. While some children and parents take it as a symbolic end of childhood, and as a result, a part of the natural process of growing up, the feeling of loss doesn’t bode well with others. There are also parents who just find it difficult to relinquish control over to their children. It is important for parents to let go and allow their children to make decisions for themselves, while it is okay to still provide your guidance, it is crucial for parents to take a step back. This is critical for a successful transition. This does not mean however to blind yourself to the real life challenges they will undoubtedly encounter.

How are parents able to manage their own fears?

Refocusing your energy

Parents need to focus on the bright side, which is that they now have more time to focus on themselves, and the things they like. It’s time to revisit old hobbies and interests or maybe go on an extended vacation they always wanted to go to. This only becomes possible if both student and parent have the confidence a game plan is in place 24/7 should an urgent issue arise.

Readjust Expectations

Your children will always need you, but they will only need you in a different capacity. It is normal for the relationship between a parent and their child to change as the child grows and becomes a mature adult. Encouraging this change will promote positive engagements and interactions between the parent and their child. Remember you have raised an amazing young adult and student, but it is still your responsibility to be their “rock” and “go to” in times of need.

Provide Guidance

While you may be feeling immense anxiety thinking of your child leaving home for college, it is easy to want to over engage and at times, also over extend yourself, because you want what’s best for your child. Try to offer your advice and guidance without the pressure. Parents need to remember that there’s a fine line between caring for your child and being intrusive, and you will need to work on that with your child. This is where Campus Caddie, your campus concierge comes into play. They can still grow as young adults by you providing a support resource like Campus Caddie and you can rest easy.

Finally, it is important for parents to just accept the fact that their children are going to make mistakes. College is the time for exploration for young students. It is a time for kids to separate from their parents and become independent adults, which is part of the learning process. Let us help you through this process.

Whether you elect to subscribe to our service, our wish for you is to facilitate the maturation and growth with planning for real life solutions should the need ever arise. Alternative to our service include: Engage other parents. Encourage your student to build a friend network (other students that are native to the city where the school is located are wonderful resources. Many times these “local” students provide access to that “mom or dad away from home”.

As a parent with a child away at college, I encourage you to plan, plan and plan some more. My wife and I have endured too many distraught 2:00 a.m. frantic calls. Please learn more about our services or build your own safety net. You will rest much easier without a doubt.

GOOD LUCK ON THIS JOURNEY. GO ‘NOLES!