It’s time for your child to see what they can do on their own. Let your child make their own decisions (offer help if asked), solve their own problems, choose their own courses, and pick their own major. It’s important to be supportive once they make this decision on what to study for the next four years. It may not be the best choice to you, but again, it’s time to let go.
Prepare with your student
Sit down with your student the summer before sending them off to be on their own and discuss financial plans and first year goals. Help them learn how to balance a checkbook, manage a credit/debit card, and handle a budget. Talk with them about what they would like to get involved with and how it will influence their course work. Help them as much as you can before you let them go.
With their new busy schedule, they may not get to call home as often as you like. Understand that they are thinking of you, but you may not get to talk as often as you do now.
The first time they come home, they won’t be the same person you dropped off during welcome week. Students will change the way they think and way they look. Many will change their majors and career goals. Be supportive and have patience when they are uncertain.
It takes time to learn how to be a college student. Don’t be surprised with the hundreds of phone calls asking how a certain piece of clothing is to be washed or how long to cook such item. They won’t become an adult overnight and may still need your assistance every once in a while.
Don’t ask if they’re homesick
Many students struggle with homesickness at first. It is important to remember that what often hurts about being homesick is not simply that your student is away from home, but rather that he or she hasn’t made Louisville their second home. Returning home often (or focusing on wanting to be back home) can keep the homesick student from creating familiarity. Encourage your student to become a participant in an RSO, create routines, and make their living spaces feel as “homey” as possible.
Ask if they like their courses. Ask how their new friends are. Show an interest in your student’s life. Don’t call to talk about grades or if they’re keeping their side of the room tidy.
Miss your student? Chances are, they miss you too. Plan a weekend trip to Louisville to visit. We have many neighboring hotels for you to stay at while in town. When you are here, check out the many restaurants and attractions the city has to offer! Louisville is a great city for your student to call their second home.
You have raised your child to become the adult they are today for the past 18 or 19 years. They have to make mistakes in order to grow. Trust them. If they need your help or your opinion, they will call you.