The Transition from Living at Home to College

It can be difficult to watch your child/children leave home for college, especially when it seems like kindergarten was yesterday. The transition from living at home to living at college is a big one for both parents and children, filled with many mixed emotions. Here are some tips to help you and your child get through it:

Trust they’re ready to live on their own

Many parents wonder: Have I taught my child all the skills necessary to survive on his/her own? Take a step back and be confident – you’ve taught them as best you could to be strong, independent, and adapt to new situations. They’re ready for this new chapter of their lives, and so are you.

Support them along the way

Your kids aren’t disappearing; they are entering a new, challenging, and wonderful phase of their lives, and they still need you to support them through it. Ways you can do this are:

  • Taking them to their college
  • Helping them set up in their dorm/apartment
  • Sending care packages throughout the semester
  • Being there for them emotionally whenever they need it

Help Them Keep Focused and Stay on Course

From missing home to struggling with a new schedule and course load, it can be easy for your child to get off-track when they first start college. Keep your child on course by reminding them that their feelings are normal, and as they make new friends, immerse themselves in classes, and get involved in college activities, things will get better. If your child is especially homesick, put some visits home on the calendar.

What About You?

For the past eighteen years, you’ve put forth an extreme amount of effort to raise your child; it’s natural for this transition to leave a void. Here are some great ways to help you reshape your new lifestyle:

  • Get involved with your community
  • Further your education – it’s never too late to expand your horizons
  • Take up a hobby –  cooking, knitting, weaving, etc.
  • Garden
  • Volunteer
  • Travel

It’s hard to watch your children move on to college, but all transitions are opportunities – take advantage of yours!