Going to college is exciting, but it is also a time of worry and anxiety-soon, homesickness will follow. Some children feel pain when they first arrive. Others feel excited after a few weeks, and the adrenaline surge subsides once it arrives. Others will be shocked when they return to school after a long winter vacation.
Of course, for those parents who call by freshman or first-year graduate students far away from home, knowing that all this is expected will not relieve their pain. After all, when you are suddenly immersed in a new environment, a new schedule, and a new person, you naturally long for familiar homes, friends, and family. Therefore, this call may make mom and dad feel an overwhelming urge to pounce on rescue or take a plane home. This is a bad idea for many reasons.
Why is it a bad idea to bring a homesick child home
The first few weeks are when your child’s roommates and new classmates are most interested in making new friends. At the beginning, any table in the canteen welcomes new students; one month after the semester begins, these tables will remain tightly clustered. Therefore, a child who spends the first weekend at home not only delays and prolongs the inevitable separation emotions, but also misses the things that make things better-new friends and new comfort. Only persistence can Find and settle down.
If you suddenly intervene in the rescue, you deprive your child of the opportunity to solve problems for himself, learn to cope, and become an independent adult. This is a helicopter-like move, completely contrary to your intentions.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t do anything.
Healthy ways parents can help
- Comfort: Reassure your new college students that their feelings are natural, expected and universal. Their roommates, the children in the hall, and the students in each seat of the Whatever 101 lecture hall shared these feelings. Assure your children that you love them, they can handle this, and it will pass.
- Comfortable items and care kits: Remember those comfortable homes you helped them pack? This is when that comfy blanket, pictures of family and friends, teddy bears, or a chapter or two of Hogwarts magic come in handy. If your freshmen go to school without their favorite throws or their favorite funny photos with siblings, put them in a care bag with some cookies and send them out. In fact, in any case, it is a brilliant idea to provide nursing kits in the second or third week of school. (Also stuffed into a pencil cup decorated with DIY photos.)
- Campus outing: Encourage your child to get out of the dormitory to do something-then call you to tell you. Tell them to explore their new university town, visit the gym, find a roommate to watch a show, or go to the outdoor adventure office to sign up for an outing. It is for this reason that in the first few weeks of school, dormitory RA has set up a large number of social activities and group outings-it can help children get to know each other and relieve the depression of homesickness.
- Fresh air, no words: Going outdoors means fresh air and exercise, which will make anyone feel better. Children who are outdoors, kayaking with new friends, or on campus treasure hunts arranged in dormitories are unlikely to be locked in their rooms and tragically text friends at home. It’s great to keep in touch with old friends, but it’s not good if it comes at the expense of meeting new people.
- Six-week appointment: If there is a time limit, it is easier to tolerate separation, right? It is no coincidence that so many universities hold back-to-school parties or parent weekend activities approximately six weeks after the semester begins. This is the best time to visit the freshmen, there is enough time for them to settle down, but it will not make people feel impossible. If you feel an empty nest of depression, it will also make you feel better.
- Campus resources: If your child is really difficult to adapt, you can recommend two additional resources. Their dormitory RA has received training to help freshmen adapt to and cope with homesickness. Counselors at the campus health center can also help.