It’s that time folks, for all good college-bound freshmen to get ready to hit the road and head for college. It’s an amazing time for both student and parent with lots of challenges ahead, as well as joys. How do you get through this? Be prepared!
There are lots of articles out there about how to prepare and what to take to school. The one thing there doesn’t seem to be a lot of articles on is how to really make the transition of living the life once you get there, both for the student and the parent.
As a former director of student housing, I definitely have a perspective. I have mentored more 18-24 year olds than I care to count. What I do care to count, however, is how many of them are now friends. They got through it and so can you!
Transitions are tough on everyone. This is an event that has been anticipated by everyone for a long time. With that time comes significant expectations. When asking a friend to give me her advice as a mom on sending her kids off to college, she said she was surprised at how fun the process wasn’t. She was sending twin boys off at the same time and had visions of fun and perfection. However, it was so much work that the fun kind of fizzled out.
Remember that during transitions, people tend to revert back to their safe place and safe set of behaviors. They may actually “revert” to being less self sufficient, more needy, or a procrastinator. Think of all the worst traits you all have and just know that in this time of stress, all of those traits will probably come out. With this knowledge, you may be able to separate the behaviors and understand what’s happening.
Transitions are hard on everyone. Don’t forget the others at home who may be affected such as siblings, grandparents, significant others and even the pets. Give everyone a little extra love!
This transition is not for the faint of heart, but with some knowledge and a lot of patience, it can be one of the greatest learning experiences of a student’s life. And parent, maybe yours too!
More to come with Part 2: Living Large in Residence Halls!
Photos courtesy of my lovely alma mater, Monmouth College! Brought to you by the talented bloggers at Mills Apartments