There are key events that may create this inner conflict, and as parents, it’s sometimes hard to know how to respond or support your student through this period without interfering with their own growth and developing independence. Here are a few tips to try as your student experiences these common issues…
- “My roommate and I are having a fight!”—It’s easy to want to take sides or call up everyone associated with Campus Living until an appropriate resolution has been met, but this is one of those times where it’s helpful to listen as your student vents, then ask, “So what is the best way to deal with this?” Scheduling a meeting with the resident advisor to talk through a compromise would be the natural first step, which your student should do on their own.
- “I have no clue what’s going on in class.”—So many students assume they can float by in class those first few weeks, and then the tests and assignments catch up to them! Encourage your student to seek out their professors during office hours, get connected with a tutor through the Center for Academic Success & Advising, or coordinate study groups with their classmates. If they haven’t found an organizational or planning system that works for them yet, this is a key time to do it.
- “It’s hard to make new friends and I’m spending a lot of time alone.”—Many of students share that the idea of making new friends at 18 or 19 years old is a lot more challenging than when they were younger. They may be feel like everyone is judging them or being critical, or be concerned that no one has the same type of interests they do. Getting connected with a student organization or club can help them to find their niche, while hanging out in common areas in the residence halls will allow them to join in on programs or group dorm and wing events.
- “I just want to come home.”--This is when we frequently see students experiencing homesickness and seeking out the comfort of being at home with their families. Occasional trips are fine, but going home every weekend causes students to really miss out on big chunks of their social life.