There are many important reasons why you should encourage your student to stay on campus on the weekends and not come home every weekend. Research indicates that those students who are engaged and involved on campus not only do better in school, but also experience higher satisfaction with the college experience. It is important to help your student understand why she should not return home most weekends if that is an option.
However, if your student attends school at a distance that makes coming home for a weekend a possibility, there are some reasons why an occasional visit home for a weekend may make sense.
As a college parent, it is important that you help your student understand the importance of staying on campus, but also welcome him home when he needs to return.
You know your student best, and it is important that you both talk about the college experience, but here are a few reasons why your student may need or want to come home for a weekend.
- Your student may simply need to recharge. The transition to college life is difficult for many students. College life can be stressful and trying. Even students who are enjoying their college experience recognize that it is hard work. Students have full schedules. Many students work at a job as well as doing their schoolwork. Life in the residence halls can be wonderful — and stressful and noisy. Students are working at making, and maintaining, friendships. Your student may simply need a break from her college life and her friends.
- Your student may need sleep. Residence halls are sometimes poor places to catch up on needed sleep. People come and go, roommates need to move about and get things done, and there is almost always something going on. Your student may simply need a quiet place to catch up on some sleep after a busy time, major paper, or exam.
- Your student may need to touch bases with you. As much as your student wants to be independent, he may need to catch up with family news, talk with family about something on his mind, or just remind and reassure himself that family is still there and hasn’t changed. He may need to be taken care of or eat a home cooked meal. Don’t be surprised if he says he needs to come home and then doesn’t seem to have a reason. He may just need to experience family life again for a bit.
- Your student may need to discuss something with you. Depending on what is going on in her life, your student may have something that she feels she needs to talk to you about in person. If your student says she needs to come home, try to give her opportunities to talk if she wants to. However, remember that she may not have anything on her mind but may just need to be home. Don’t be alarmed and don’t push for important conversations. Let her take the lead.
- Your student may need to come home for a special event or to complete errands such as doctor’s or dentist’s appointments. Remember that in some ways your student is living in two worlds. She may not yet have put down complete roots at college, she is likely to have friends still at home, she has ties and connections that matter at home.
There are many reasons why your college student may want, or need, to come home for a weekend. If you live at a manageable distance, that visit home may be just the thing that will help him cope with the next few weeks. Understanding why your student may need to come home will help you be prepared. Remember that your student may feel that he wants to come home but may not understand the reason himself. As long as the visit home is the exception, and your student is fully engaged and involved on campus, welcome him home, give him some space to meet his needs, and enjoy having him around — even briefly.