When the College Experience Hits a Roadblock: Helping Your College Student Deal with Dissatisfaction

College parenting begins, for many parents, during the application and admission process.  We help keep track of deadlines, we arrange college visits, we support through the SAT exams, we read admissions essays, and we support our students through the acceptance wait and the final decision.  Then we enter the next phase of helping our student get ready to head to college and make the transition.  We know our role changes during the many phases of the college years, but we assume that we’ll settle in and enjoy the ride — even if there are a few bumps along the way.

However, for an increasing number of students, the college experience may come with a certain amount of disappointment, disillusionment and dissatisfaction. Things simply may not be working.   Students may turn to parents once again to help decide what to do next.  For some students, the problem may be in making the adjustment to college life or in being unprepared for the experience.  For others, academics are overwhelming and help is needed. Still other students may question whether they made the ”right” choice of college or major.  They may feel that a change will help.

Parents whose students face these difficult times will need to do a lot of listening and questioning to help students determine what the real issues may be.  Students may need to simply adjust the way they are approaching college, make a change of major, or get more help.  Other students will decide to make a significant shift — changing schools or taking a break from school.

Here are a few posts that may be especially helpful to families whose college student may be facing dissatisfaction, and who may be facing a decision about how to proceed.  We hope you find these useful.

Confronting the issue

One of the first steps may be to acknowledge the dissatisfaction and analyze the problem.

Help! My College Student Wants to Drop Out of College

What to Do If Your Student is Academically Dismissed from College

What to Do If Your Student is on Academic Probation

Parents Can Help High School — and College — Students Deal with Disappointment

Helping Your College Student Avoid ”How Do I Tell My Parents?” Fears

What Do I Do If My College Student is Homesick?

Be Prepared for the ”Meltdown” Phone Call from Your College Freshman

What to Expect from Your College Student’s First Semester Grades

Is Your College Student a Member of the ”Apathy” Generation?

Listening and supporting

Your parental communication skills will be more important than ever.

Twelve Things You Can Do to Help You Listen to Your College Student

Communicating with Your College Student: Is the Climate Right?

Communicating with Your College Student: Six Principles to Help You Make the Most of Opportunities

Communicating with Your College Student: Are You Sure You Understand?

Communicating with Your College Student: Are You Reading Between the Lines?

Communicating with Your College Student: Are You Listening?

Need to Talk to Your College Student: Choose Your Time and Place Carefully

Two Habits that Will Make Your College Student Stop Listening to You

Weighing the options

Your student may need to make some decisions and choices.  There are always choices.

The Path to Graduation: What’s Your Student’s Timeline?

Helping Your College Student Living at Home — What are the Issues?

Helping Your College Student Living at Home — What Can You Do?

Boomerang Kids: When Your Chile or College Graduate Moves Back Home

Should My Student Consider Taking a Gap Year?

Should My College Student Live Off Campus?

Staying put and taking positive action

Your student may need to make some changes to create a more fulfilling experience.

How Parents Can Help Their College Student Avoid Sophomore Slump

Helping Your College Student Be a Better Student: Twelve Questions to Ask

Helping Your College Student Find Support on Campus

Helping Your College Student ”Supersize” His College Experiences

Nine Ways to Help Your College Student Get a Fresh Start for Second Semester

How to Help Your College Student Use the Summer Months Wisely

How the Career Office Can Help Your College Student: Yes, Even Your College Freshman

Making a change

Perhaps your student will need to take a different route to find the right path for her.

What is a College Articulation Agreement?

Parenting Your College Student Through the Transfer Process — Part 1

Parenting Your College Student Through the Transfer Process — Part 2

Parenting Your College Student Through the Transfer Process — Part 3

Understanding Why Your Son or Daughter Wants to Study Abroad

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