PARENTS GUIDE TO HOMESICKNESS
Understand that Homesickness is Normal
Transitioning from high school to college and from home to a residence hall are major life changes. Being homesick is a natural and normal process that occurs during this time. Normalize the process for your student and let him/her know that they don’t have to be embarrasses by the emotions they are feeling. Remind them of the very first day of elementary school and let them know that just like then they will adjust in time.
Student Engagement is Key to College Success
Encourage your students to pursue their interests through campus activities and organizations. They can contact the Office of Student Activities in Gillespie Residence Hall, Room 110A. Encourage them to stop by for a person-to-person conversation or access their webpage.
Make Friends and Acquaintances
Encourage your student to meet many people and form friendships over time based on common interests, shared goals. They will have many acquaintances and make a few good friends throughout their college experience.
Roommates and Communication
Remind your student that roommates don’t always make good friends, but a relationship based on mutual respect is necessary. In order to achieve that they must communicate their wants and needs in a live-in situation.
Stay in Touch But Don’t Hover
Allow your student to reach out to you by phone, email, or text but try to limit contact to assure that they engage in campus life and disengage from the daily life at home. Send care packages on occasion.
Make Sure Your Student Knows Their Residence Assistant
Each floor in Bosley and Gillespie Residence Hall has a student Resident Assistant who can help students get adjusted to college. Encourage your student to get to know their RA and talk to him/her if they feel overwhelmed.
Home Away From Home
Creating a comfortable safe space within in the residence hall room is important because after all, it is home away from home. Decorate and allow for comfort objects from home to accompany your student as well as plenty of pictures from home.
The Office of Counseling Services is Always Available
If homesickness is making it difficult for your student to concentrate in class or socialize with peers, encourage him/her to visit the Office of Counseling Services in Gillespie Student Center, Room 111. Counselors there are very familiar with homesickness and will assist your student with adjustment to college. Counselors can also assess if there are any mental health issues that are concern. Know that due to FERPA laws your student will have to grant a counselor permission to talk to you about any concerns.
The Office of Counseling Services encourages parents to read the following article for more information on what you can do to support your student's college experience. Click here.