As we enter into August, many families begin thinking (sometimes even counting down) the days left till the new school year commences. However, for the parents of those going off to college, the days are bittersweet. Filled with loves, tears, battles, stress, and excitement, college is an excellent and tumultuous time for parents and their newly minted college students. To help ease the transition, we've compiled a few links that will help parents and their teens to mentally and physically prepare for the journey ahead.
Jacques Steinberg of the New York Times spoke to deans and counselors at three colleges to see what advice they had for students. We also encourage parents and teens to read the comments on this post, as they're some great advice from fellow college students and parents, alike. We especially like the suggestions offered in the first comment from a rising sophomore. CLICK HERE for the link.
What did we do before stores like Bed, Bath, and Beyond? Not only do they provide a great dorm room supply checklist, but they also have resources for college students on how to deal with everything from stress, time management, proper eating and staying cigarette-free.
STAYING IN TOUCH
In the age of technology, it's easy to stay in touch with your teens through emails, text message, by cell phone and even Facebook. Sometimes, however, you just need to see their beautiful faces! If you and your teen have a web cam on your computer (relatively inexpensive to purchase, f you don't have one), set aside a time twice a month to Skype with your college student. Skype allows you to set up a free account where you and your teen can chat, via video, online for free. Visit http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/get-skype/ to set up and account. For the first month of school, it's a good idea to have your kid (ahem, adult) check-in with you, so make sure you set aside at least two dates and times (weekly, bi-weekly, whatever you all agree on) and stick to it! It's important to touch base with them and let them know you are there if they need you.
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT FOR YOUR COLLEGE STUDENT
Some kids adjust quickly and happily to college life, while others take a little longer. This article from Psychology Today talks about those that need some extra support and how parents can offer it to them. CLICK HERE.
EMPTY NEST SYNDROME
Yes, it's real and can sometimes be really difficult. However, many parents rediscover each other, their relationships, their old friends, new interests and more time to pursue all of these things. Naomi Barr penned an essay entitled "The End of Empty Nest Syndrome" for O, The Oprah Magazine, which gives her bird's-eye view of life in an empty nest. You might be surprised by some of her findings. CLICK HERE to read.
We've given Ann Patchett's book, What Now, as gifts to graduating teens, those who are leaving for college, beginning their first jobs, or simply moving out and moving on. But sometimes, it was their parents who received more solace from the book than their offspring did. You've devoted 18 years to your child's development, wellbeing and every move. Now, it's time for them to test all of those skills out, without you. So, you ask yourself, "What Now?" Patchett, a calm guide amidst the storm of this question, flips the script. "What now," she writes, "represents our excitement and our future, the very vitality of life."