Your Student’s Transition to College: Help without Hovering

Danette Norman Till, Director of Counseling Services

During Advising and Registration Days for our new first year students I had the opportunity to meet many of you this summer and together we prepared for the excitement and angst of your son or daughter heading off to college. Just a few reminders of what you can expect within yourself, particularly if you are a parent of a first year student:

  • Excitement – happy that your child has this opportunity to attend college
  • Worried – can they handle all the freedom and responsibility?
  • Feeling a void at home – “I miss my student at the dinner table.”
  • Feeling left out – no longer as a parent involved in all aspects of your student’s life

Your son or daughter may have different reactions to starting to college which may include:

  • Social connections – “Will I make friends?” or “I am making too much time for friends.”
  • Homesickness – “All of this change is difficult.”
  • Academic performance – “This is harder than high school.”
  • Excitement – “I have found the right place for me.”

We encourage you to stay connected to your student, while also letting go. Encourage your student to stay on campus, particularly the first few weeks. This is the time to connect to other students and if your student is struggling with homesickness, the easiest thing to do is to return home. Encourage them to check out activities on campus or attend sporting events. As a parent, write e-mails, send notes/cards or care packages, visit campus and attend events, celebrate successes of your student, and offer support. Additional tips to remember:

  • Let your student determine the length of your conversation
  • Let your student determine the length of your conversation
  • Resist the urge to get involved and “solve” the problem your student is facing
  • Ask open-ended questions, i.e. “How do you think you could solve that?” or “Who on campus could help you with that?”
  • Keep in mind that what you are hearing is through the “lens” of your student and may only be a part of the story
  • Think “adult – adult” conversation (instead of “parent – child”)
  • Encourage, support, and praise successes (however large or small)

Click here for Important Dates and New Student Resources

Community Resources/Numbers:
Campus Store: 260-982-5275

Florist:
Cottage Creations Florist & Gift Shop 260-982-2028
North Manchester Greenhouse & Florist 260-982-8023

Motel/Hotel in North Manchester:
(see http://www.manchester.edu/Common/VisitingManchester/accommodations.htm for full listing of area accommodations):

  • Treeway Inn 260-982-9090
  • Fruit Basket Inn (B&B) 260-982-2443

North Manchester Police Department: 260-982-8555

Transportation:

  • Wabash County Transit (can provide transportation within Wabash County to a doctor, counselor, the store, etc.)
  • Phone: 260-563-7536, 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Program Director: Bob Ferguson
  • Transportation hours: 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Call in advance when possible, available to transport within Wabash County
  • $2.00 maximum one way fee; must have exact change;
  • $5.00 fee charged if the person is a “no show” when a transit is requested

Wabash County Hospital: 800-346-2110
We are glad that you and your student have chosen Manchester University and it will be exciting to watch as your student finds his or her place here. We welcome you!

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