So your college freshman is off to school, and here you are worrying about whether or not he is eating right, exercising, broke, wearing a coat, taking cold medicine – stop! Stop the madness, get off that hamster wheel, and realize it is time to let go. You are not even a mourning empty nester; you are more concerned that your child may lack some common comfort or necessity. This article will provide a few tips to help parents of college freshmen let go and cope with having a new young independent adult.
Recognize that your child is in college now and if you haven’t in the past few years, now is the time to let them find out who they really are. Let them pick the type of clothes that are comfortable and fit the college scene and the weather of the area they are going to school in. Don’t try to dictate what they should wear. Respect the choices of clothes as long as they are not inappropriate in an obscene way. You never know, you may have an artist on your hands in which case, your student may be working through some creative issues.
As quickly as you let go of one worry, you create another. This is very common of parents of college freshmen, but it is time to let go. What if they need me? They will call. What if they get hungry? A young adult is not going to starve him or herself. Trust me. What you can do to ease your mind, and let go of the control of the situation is to see to it that the student’s meal card is paid for and that it is valid for 7 days a week. Chances are they won’t use it all the time, but it is a good back up and you can be comfortable in knowing they don’t have to starve unless they want to.
What if they don’t call home? What if they go over their cell phone plan and their phone is cut off? Parents, get over it. Should they do that once, chances are they won’t do it again. Young adults love their cell phones. Here again, so that you are comfortable and in case of an emergency provide your student with a prepaid phone card. And give your kid a little space. Maybe even set up a time that you all will speak once or twice a week. You’ll be surprised, once they get to school they sometimes call everyday. In this new transition from high school student to young independent adult, parents actually become friends to these new beings. They may call you when you least expect it to ask your opinion and or advise on a situation. They may just want to share what’s going on in their life with you.
Here’s a tip about visiting, don’t surprise them. Don’t just show up. Seriously, respect their privacy and find out when there is a good time to visit. And when you do, be prepared to take your college freshmen and several others out to dinner. After a while they look forward to the treat of spending the parents money for a great meal. Once you do that you will find you now have several college freshmen looking forward to your visits. Knowing your child’s friends and support group is also a great way to help parents of college freshmen let go.
At first it will be difficult but do your best not to be too overprotective. If you have raised them right they will remember most things you have taught them. There will be new influences but that is to be expected. Do feel free to touch on the more important things such as the seriousness of drinking and driving, and not being in a vehicle with a person who is not responsible enough to respect this law. Once you make them understand college life is a new beginning. It is a chance for them to become the person they always wanted to be and choose the reputation they truly want. It’s your kid, you know them well, that being said I would think after a few weeks you will be able to sit back, breathe a little lighter, relax and brag to your friends about your new college freshman with very little stress involved. It may just be that you might be able to show other parents of college freshmen to let go and let life take its course.