Going Away to College: The Next Big Step in Your Child’s Life

If your teen is going away to college and leaving the nest for the first time, he or she is probably thrilled…and a little nervous! Not as nervous as you are of course, but still, the freshmen year of college is a huge life change/stage. There are so many things going through your teen’s mind like:

-Will I make friends?
-Will I get homesick?
-How difficult will my classes be?

The list of questions rolls on, but there are a few things you can share with your teen to help him or her during the freshmen year of college to make the transition easier!

Preparing Your Teen For the Freshmen Year of College

There are a few things you can do first and foremost, to help your teen who will get homesick, even if he or she is having a blast with new friends and classmates:

Care Packages: Your homesick teen will love a care package! If you’re looking for care package ideas, Pinterest will be your very best friend! If you’re not social media savvy, try these easy care package ideas. These ideas will help your teen with the new dorm style of life!

  • Favorite Foods: Send your teen a package of his or her favorite non-perishable foods and label them by emotion such as: Potato Chips “Your favorite late-night study snack” or Trail Mix “Your power fuel for early morning classes.”
  • The Clean package: Send your teen toiletries he or she will need to stay clean during the semester! Soaps, shaving products, antibacterial gel, shampoos and more will make a helpful package that will keep your teen from running to the store when products run out.
  • The Time Capsule: If your teen is feeling really homesick, this is probably the best of all of the care package ideas! Send your kiddo photos and sentiments of his or her childhood, all the way through the present time. Your teen will love looking at all the mementos and it will help him or her feel connected to the family and happy, without having to drive home! ***Send a Huggs To Go Photo Doll because you cannot always be with the ones that you LOVE!

Dorm Life, Meeting New People & Studying: Concerns For Your Homesick College-Bound Teen

Dorm Life: Give your teen some tips for dorm life!

– You never know what your roommate is going to be like, so if the situation is unbearable, encourage your teen to talk to his or her RA. If it’s just an awkward adjustment, remind your teen to speak up if feeling uncomfortable with a roommate, but also to let some things slide. Living with anyone is difficult

– Showers: make sure to have flip-flops for the showers! Germs travel fast in college dorms

– Health care: speaking of germs, encourage your teen to wash hands, get rest and take care of him/herself no matter how hard a studying cram goes!

– Noise- Canceling Headphones: when in doubt, cancel that noise out!

Don’t be surprised if your teen calls you a billion times during the freshmen year of college to complain or confess about crazy roommates and shenanigans. Just remind your kid to talk to the RA or housing/student services if it is a very toxic or unsafe environment.

Friends: Meet People!

-Do a search: have your teen do a search on the college website ahead of time for groups and organizations she might like.

-Get friendly: tell him or her that saying hello to people and asking to share information for study groups with classmates on the first day of class are easy ways to meet people.

Studying Tips:

– Pick a spot to study: if noise is a deterrent, encourage your teen to get to know that library but if noise is helpful, perhaps some music through headphones or studying at the dorm with soft tunes playing.

– Time management: if your teen doesn’t excel at time management, encourage him to Google time management tips, use phone alerts for study times, set up a calendar with alerts for all major projects due, and to see his advisor for extra help.

– Budget wisely: difficult topics may require more work, so schedule that extra time and if your teen is struggling, push him or her to see a tutor. Many colleges have free tutoring services.