Going away to college can seem like an enormous step for you; you are probably used to having your parents accompany and support you every step of the way. However, it is also a huge step for your parents, who still see you as a child and are worried that you won’t be able to cope alone.
You can help keep your parents from worrying when you go away to college in the following ways.
Show them how responsible you are.
Your parents’ fears about you going away to college will be allayed if you show them how responsible you can be before you go away to college.
- Make an effort to stop relying on them for everything. If you need a lift somewhere, make your own arrangements, unless your parents offer first.
- Show an interest in cooking; if you can’t cook at all, then ask your parents to help you learn to make a few dishes. They will be much happier about your ability to eat properly if they know you can cook the basics.
Take charge of your finances.
Your parents will also be concerned about your money management skills. Again, before you go away, show your parents that you can be very responsible when it comes to money.
If you have a job, as many students do, put part of your savings in your bank account towards your time at college.
Make sure you discuss your finances with your parents so that they know you have an idea of how much money you need for basic living costs, either with or without their help.
Show that you are willing to get a job to make ends meet as necessary.
Exhibit a healthy attitude towards alcohol.
Unlimited access to alcohol can be a huge point of concern for parents, especially in the USA, where it is legal to buy alcohol from the age of 18. Most teenagers, however, have already experimented with alcohol before then. If that includes you, then show your parents that you can drink sensibly.
Don’t go overboard while still living with your parents, lose your phone, get lost on the way home and then have to spend the next day recovering. If you absolutely have to experiment, wait until you are away at college and don’t boast about it to your parents.
Call them on a regular basis.
When you first go away to college, you will probably call your parents on a regular basis, especially if you are a little homesick.
As you settle in and make friends, however, you may stop calling so often. Your parents could then start to worry about you, wondering why you are too busy to call.
If speaking to them on the phone is too much effort, at least email, and text regularly so that they know there aren’t any problems.
Ideally, you should arrange a regular time to Skype them once a week so that they can both hear and see that you are fine.
Share your college life with them.
You don’t need to give your parents details of every lecture and evening out that you have, but your parents will be interested in your college life in general. When you speak to them, tell them about your new friends and hobbies and what you think about your course.
During your first term or semester, you might want to invite them to visit so that they can see first-hand the conditions in which you are living and meet some of your friends. You may even want to introduce them to some of your lecturers and tutors.
Show that you are progressing.
College can be enormous fun, but the main reason you are there is to study.
One of the best ways to keep your parents from worrying about you is to share with them the results of your exams and assignments, which will hopefully be good.
- If you are not doing as well as you would like, explain why and tell them that you are planning to put in extra effort to ensure that any poor results are a temporary glitch.
- If you have come to realize that your course is not right for you, make inquiries about changing and keep your parents informed.
It can often be hard for parents when their children go away to college. Of course, you have earned your independence and will want to put it into practice, but make an effort to update your parents on a regular basis. Then your relationship should go from strength to strength.