Friday, August 22, 2014

Launching Your Freshman off to College

Yesterday we took our oldest daughter to the airport to catch a plane to Boston.  She will soon start her first semester at Tufts University—and she won’t return home until just before Christmas.    Somehow, despite months of preparation, I wasn’t quite ready to let her go. . . 

This summer I did what I often do when faced with a new challenge—I read.  Here I will share an article and a few books I found helpful for this “off to college” transition:

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently featured a helpful, practical article, 

It offers several suggestions for gradually letting go of daily involvement in your now young adult’s life including—

--Be available to listen but initiate few phone calls.

--Let your child contact professors and administrators without your interference.

--Talk to your child about the difference between high school “homework” and college “coursework.” Explain the importance of the syllabus for each course and how professors are not as lenient or understanding about missed classes.

--Discuss the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs with your child before he/she leaves home.

--Make sure he/she knows how to do laundry.

--Create an online family calendar to help with scheduling.

Here are some books that contain good tips and information about college life and the transition to young adulthood:

The Naked Roommate For Parents Only: A Parent’s Guide to the New College Experience by Harlan Cohen (a companion version to the one for students, which  is also excellent)

The Launching Years: Strategies for Parenting from Senior Year to College Life by Laura Kastner and Jennifer Wyatt

I’m Going to College—Not You!  Surviving the College Search with your Child, Edited by Jennifer Delahunty (some amusing and some more philosophical essays on the college launch)

Good luck with the launching process—it’s an important transition both for the college freshman and for the family left behind.

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