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How can I deal with my student moving away from home?

When a student attends college and moves away from home for the first time, it is an adjustment that BOTH the student and the parent(s) go through. Here are some suggestions of ways that YOU can survive your student’s first semester at college:

Help your student move to The College of New Jersey. This will ensure that your student arrives at TCNJ with the appropriate necessities as well as the proper clothing for the crazy New Jersey weather!

It is going to be difficult driving away after you have helped your student move their belongings into their room. It is okay to cry, but remember to smile in front of your student; he or she needs your support.

Phone regularly, but not consistently. During the first week, call occasionally to see if your student needs anything, but do not call every day. Remember, you want to be supportive, not smothering.

Don’t forget to e-mail! It is an easy way for the two of you to communicate, and best of all, it is cheaper than long-distance phone calls!

Send money! Students love to get mail and they are always broke! Sending your student a card saying that you are thinking about them with a $20 bill inside is a perfect way to say “I love you”!

Don’t forget to mail your student a package of goodies, especially around mid-terms, finals, or holidays. Little reminders of home can brighten a student’s stressful week!

Stay positive! Everyone at some point or another doesn’t do well on a test or doesn’t get an A on a paper. Listen to your student and sympathize with him or her, and if the problem continues, don’t forget to remind them to see their advisor or seek tutoring.

Encourage your student to get involved! Students tend to enjoy their college experience more if they are involved with the campus community. Encourage your student to get involved with campus activities and organizations.

Most importantly, pat yourself on the back. Many high school graduates never attend college and your student is enrolled in a school that prides itself on helping students succeed. Congratulations!

The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them.


— Frank A. Clark