In our last post, we suggested five conversations parents and students should have before the student begins college. Here are five more questions to consider.
The process of heading off to college – both for your student and for you – is filled with expectations. One roadblock, however, may be that your expectations and your student’s expectations may not be the same. Using the summer months for some frank and open talk about expectations will clear the air – and possibly avoid difficult situations later when you realize that you, or she, made some assumptions. Good communication now will also lay the foundation for continued quality communication once your student heads off.
Here are five questions or conversations you might consider having before your student leaves for school. Don’t try to cover them all at once, but try to touch on some of these topics as you both prepare. Not only will you learn some things about your student, but she may learn some things about you as well.
When, and how often, will your student come home to visit during the first semester?
Whether or not your student will come home to visit during the first semester may not be an issue if your student is far away from home. But if your student’s school is close enough, do you anticipate her coming home often? Does she plan to come home? Some students head off to college planning to come home every weekend. They want to see their friends, they may want some home-cooking, or they may have a weekend job at home. However, students who are connected to their college – through friends and on-campus activities often do better. Of course, you don’t want your student to feel as though you don’t want her to come home, but you may need to discuss the importance of her spending time on campus to establish her new life. You may need to work to understand why she doesn’t want to come home on the weekend to visit you. Be flexible, of course, but make a plan before your student leaves home.