Do you have a student in college that is returning home this summer?  If you do, I’d like to give you some insight on the transition and making it enjoyable for everyone involved–

  • By the time your student walks through the front door, he will have been up for days doing what students do–studying, writing papers, taking tests, packing, traveling, and yes–partying.  He is going to be exhausted!  Allow a few quiet days for your student to transition back into home life.  Don’t plan family get togethers or big celebrations–allow your student time to just relax.
  • Likewise, allow your student  time to SLEEP.  That’s all he’s going to want to do for the first few days….and of course, he’s going to want to eat.  Go ahead, make/buy his favorite foods.  He’ll appreciate the full refrigerator and what he considers comfort foods.
  • As much as your student loves you, don’t be surprised if she misses her college life even more.  Her friends….her freedom have meant the world to her.  She has grown up in the last year!  Sure, high school friends are great, but your student probably has more in common with her college friends now.  And freedom…no one really wants to give that up!  Be sensitive and understanding of this.
  • Your student is use to coming and going when he wants, even if that means making a hamburger run at 2 a.m.  He may not want to explain where he’s going or when he’s coming back.  This might be hard for you as a parent and for the family as a whole.  Discussion, understanding and compromise are the key.  Your student needs to be a part of this!
  • Your student has spent the last year on an entirely different schedule than you as a family are use to.  It’s not unusual for college student s to stay up until the wee hours of the morning and then sleep until noon.  Again, discussion, understanding and compromise are necessary and your student needs to be an active participant.
  • Your child may never unpack.  After all, why should she?  She’ll be returning in just a few months.  Because your child never unpacks, her room may be in a continual state of disarray.  Rather than making an issue out of this, I suggest closing the door.

I also suggest, that if you have the time…if your student isn’t due home for a few weeks, that you start the discussion and compromise process now.

Determine your limits as a family while also realizing the importance of your student’s independence.  After all, isn’t that what we want–for our children to grow into independent adults?  You’ve obviously done a great job!

Most importantly, ENJOY the time with your student!

Remember–fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

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