If you have a college student that does not like to party, his first semester living in the dorms may be difficult to handle. While parents sometimes like to kid themselves into thinking their first-years don’t drink or party, there are those actual students who don’t. Some are there to study, learn and socialize without the help of drugs or alcohol. If your son or daughter is one of the truly studious ones you may find yourself on the receiving end of some surprisings text messages.
“Can I come home for the weekend?” – The teenager who couldn’t wait to move out of the house and enjoy some freedom wants to come home. While a certain amount of homesickness is expected, when the message comes like clockwork every Friday you have to wonder what’s really happening.
Of course you want to see your son or daughter and won’t turn down that opportunity. At the same time it’s also important to help the first year student that there is an adjustment period that needs to happen. The student who returns home every weekend will never become accustomed to the pace and social scene in the dorms.
“I have a new roommate.” – One of the hardest adjustments for a new college student is learning to live with a complete stranger. Although they may have been matched by the school based on a short questionnaire about living preferences and they may have “met” online through Facebook, they are still strangers until they move in together.
That seemingly quiet roommate from another time zone may have a different agenda on the weekends than they initially stated. When the roommate would rather experiment with drugs and alcohol than study, the studious student has a decision to make. Find a new place to sleep on the weekends or find a new room. Some schools are more accommodating than others when students need to swap rooms or roommates. Help your student work with the housing office if this is the case.
“I want to transfer.” – After a year and a half of taking SATs, applying for scholarships, visiting colleges, evaluating financial aid packages and finally picking a school your first-year college student may change his mind about his choice.
This text, should be answered with a, “please call me to discuss” text. Ask your first-year college student if the reason for transfer is because of the academic program or because of the dorm life. A student who is receiving a substantial financial aid package will need to consider the alternatives to paying for another school for the second half of the school year.
Also discuss the same issues that were touched upon during the initial college decision including living arrangements, working while taking classes and transportation.
Living in the dorms during the first semester of college can be a huge transition for some first-year students. Some acclimate well, others never do. Let your own college student know it’s okay to choose again, as long as all of the the options and new challenges have been weighed.