College Students and Homesickness

It is very common for college freshmen to experience homesickness as they begin a new venture in life. Your young adult will be surrounded by a plethora of new people and may know few, if any, fellow students as his/her college career begins. Compound that with not seeing family or old friends regularly and the added responsibilities of being out on his/her own (ex. increasing self-discipline to do well in school, developing a social network, doing chores such as laundry, etc.) and it is understandable how easy it is for new college students to feel overwhelmed.

There are some things that parents can do to ease the worries of their new college men and women.

First, allow your child to express his/her feelings and assure your child that homesickness is normal.

Keep in regular contact with your child to be a comfort to him/her. Phoning, emailing, or text messaging regularly can help your child feel connected to you (and you to your child). Send family pictures so your child can decorate his/her dorm or apartment with them. Mail surprise "care packages" with items your child can use and/or a favorite treat s/he will enjoy.

Be sure that your child is aware of the resources on campus (i.e., encourage your child to utilize the campus counseling center where trained professionals can assist with his/her adjustment; talk with professors or aides if your child needs assistance with projects, homework or studying; encourage your child to attend social gathering where s/he can meet new friends).

Assure your child that you are just a phone call away should s/he need anything.

But most of all, encourage and remind your child that s/he will succeed as s/he begins this new chapter in his/her life!

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