We understand that for some parents and family members, sending their student to college is more challenging for them than their children. You may be experiencing conflicting emotions of loss and nostalgia. You are likely concerned for the health and well-being of your student, but rest-assured! Our college mission is “to ensure lifelong health and well-being for every person, every family, every community,” and that includes your student!
The college and Oregon State University can help you and your student with the transition from home to college and from child to adult. Here are a few tips for you and resources for your Oregon State student:
Teach the life skills that students need to survive.
These include activities such as doing their own laundry, learning how to cook, learning how to live on a budget and knowing how to take care of their health with exercise, nutrition and stress management skills.
Set up a routine communication schedule.
A regularly scheduled weekly phone call, email or Skype is usually enough. Too much contact and the student does not have the opportunity to separate. Sending care packages regularly also helps students manage their own emotions with regard to being away from home.
Develop a strategy for problem-solving.
This should mean that the student is responsible for finding solutions on-campus for their problems. If reaching-out to campus offices (Financial Aid, University Housing and Dining Services, etc.), their instructor or academic advisor does not work, then they should call home. This helps students to learn what resources are available for them on campus and helps them learn how to depend on themselves for solving routine life problems.
Establish a visitation schedule during the school year that accommodates the school schedule. This allows students to anticipate seeing family and also helps with planning for their assignments and routine studying/reading. Random visits home often interrupt student life in a way that is detrimental to academic and social success. The goal is to have students create a new 'home' on campus.
Campus and off-campus life
Encourage and support students’ exploration of campus and off-campus life. The more students engage with college life and the life in a college town the more it will become their new home. It also creates good habits for how they engage with new places as they get older. Finding people who share similar interests and culture will support their sense of self and keep them connected to the familiar while they explore who they are and might become.