The first year of college can be a big transition for both you and your student. Families play a vital role in the lives of U-M students, and many students still count on their families to remain a steady and stable source of support and guidance. Family members can serve as mentors, offering advice and encouragement, while also promoting independence, autonomy, and responsibility. 

This section provides a month-by-month guide to what you can expect from your student during the first year at college. In addition, there is some helpful advice from other U-M families on how to support your student during this transformative year and manage your own transition as well. 

August

Don’t forget to take care of yourself! This is a period of adjustment for you too. Your mixed feelings of joy and sorrow, pride and loss, are normal. There will be a void in the family and some roles may adjust, especially if younger siblings are still at home. It’s a good time to refocus on your own hobbies and interests. And remember that your student still needs you and loves you (even if you never hear it)!

What’s Happening with New Students:

  • They are adjusting to new lives, new responsibilities, new relationships, new roommates, and new freedoms. The first six weeks of college are a challenging time for new students who are trying to make these adjustments all at once.
  • They are excited about moving away from home, but may also be homesick.
  • They are enthusiastic about starting college life, but may be insecure about fitting in, being as smart as everyone else, or navigating unfamiliar surroundings.
  • They are separated from friends, loved ones, support networks, and familiar surroundings.
  • They’re unsure of what to expect academically—the unknown workload and expectations from faculty.
  • They’re starting over. They are no longer a big fish in small pond, and no one here knows their former status at their previous school (this may be a relief for some students; a concern for others).

What Parents and Family Members Can Do:

  • Accept your changing role as a parent. Your new role is likely to be that of a mentor, providing support, encouragement, advice, and guidance, without the control you once had. This is another stage of your student’s life, and your role as a parent does not stop—it just changes.
  • Set realistic expectations for your student regarding academics, financial responsibility, social involvement, alcohol and drug use. Discuss these expectations in a non-judgmental manner, and be open to listening as well. Keep the lines of communication open.
  • Encourage your student to be independent and responsible. Be an empathic listener but refrain from ‘coming to the rescue’ when there is a problem. By teaching students how to solve their own problems, parents demonstrate that they have confidence in their students, and students therefore gain more confidence in themselves. 
  • Encourage your student to take responsibility for actions/behavior and to accept the consequences. Students need to know that their parents trust them. 
  • Become familiar with University resources so that you can direct your student to the appropriate resources for assistance.
  • Encourage your student to become a part of the University by joining student groups and attending residence hall or campus-wide events. Encourage your student to be brave and go to informational mass meetings alone—it’s the best way to get involved with the community and to make new friends.
  • Listen and provide reassurance. Remind your student that these adjustments and feelings are normal.
September

Roommate conflicts do happen. They can happen regardless of whether students are complete strangers or have known each other for years. Most students find that talking over the problems with the roommate resolves the conflict. However, sometimes help is needed. It is counterproductive for parents to get involved in roommate disputes. As a parent, the best way for you to help the situation is to refer your student to the Resident Advisor (RA). RAs are upper-level students who have been trained to resolve roommate disputes.

What’s Happening with New Students:

  • They are enjoying the beautiful weather, the energy of campus in the fall, and the excitement of a new environment.
  • They may be questioning their identities, pushing boundaries, and experimenting with new things. Experimenting may include challenging previous beliefs about religion or politics, experimenting with alcohol/drugs or sexual activity, and challenging social norms.
  • They may have trouble managing time. In September, it’s common for students to have a false sense of comfort because many papers and projects aren’t due until October, and this may lead to procrastination.
  • They’re learning about opportunities to get involved with campus groups and should attend Festifall, a day when student groups try to recruit new members on the Diag. Sorority and Fraternity recruitment (called “Rush”) also takes place.
  • They’re starting to understand that the effort it took to be academically successful at their previous school may not necessarily work at the University of Michigan. A new level of effort and critical thinking is expected. This may result in feelings of inadequacy, and they may ask themselves, “Can I really make it here?”
  • Some may be experiencing roommate conflicts.
  • A new trend with college students is an increased dependence on old friends, which enables them to avoid getting involved with new people on campus and connecting to the U-M community. Modern technology and social media make it easier than ever to keep in touch with old friends at other schools, and it could result in an increased feeling of ‘not fitting in’ at U-M.

What Parents and Family Members Can Do:

  • Listen to your student’s concerns and be reassuring. Don’t say, “these are the best years of your life.” Be prepared for the “dump” phone call late at night. Students need to vent frustrations or fears, and you will be the dumping ground. Recognize your student’s feelings are normal, as is the tendency to vent the feelings to a parent. In most cases, your student will feel much better after having vented to you, but you may be left feeling terrible and worried.
  • Encourage your student to get involved with campus groups. It’s easy to meet new people at college, but students must make the effort. Old friendships are important, and they're easy to maintain with technology, but students need to find a balance between reaching out to new people and making new connections on campus versus enjoying the safety net of their old, familiar friends.
  • Provide your student with time management techniques and encourage use of a planner (either paper or digital) to keep organized. You may also refer your student to the University’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for time management and stress-reduction workshops. 
  • Continue conversations with your student about alcohol use. If your student is a freshman, the first six weeks are an especially vulnerable time. Freshmen tend to feel pressure to ‘fit in” on campus, and they may mistakenly perceive this to mean drinking. Discuss the consequences of making poor choices when it comes to alcohol, including trouble with classes, increased risk of sexual assault and violence, trouble with the law, possible negative impacts on professional school or employment opportunities, and even death. Encourage your student to become involved in the numerous alcohol-free social events on campus, and to avoid risky drinking behaviors. Keep the lines of communication open on an adult-to-adult level, and avoid being judgmental.
  • The first weeks of the semester can be very exciting for your student, but there may also be disappointments, such as not being selected during fraternity/sorority recruitment or having difficulties with a roommate. Help your student keep these disappointments in perspective -- something that can be challenging for someone who’s in the middle of the situation.
October

Refer your student to the Housing Information Office for information about the reapplication process for residence hall housing. If your student is considering moving off-campus, discuss the increased responsibilities required when moving off-campus, such as handling utilities, cooking, and landlords. The Beyond the Diag program can provide students with information about things to consider before moving off-campus, rental listings in the Ann Arbor area, and information about finding roommates.

What’s Happening with New Students: 

  • They may be enjoying Football Saturdays and the amazing campus spirit.
  • They might be stressed out about tests and midterms. Some students fall behind in September because they weren’t accustomed to the type of time management skills required for college, and they feel the pressure in October.
  • They may receive the first college grades on papers and projects. This helps students to understand what professors expect of them. It also means that students may realize that they are no longer ‘top of the class,’ and some who once got all As now gets Bs and Cs. Students may be disappointed or lose self-esteem because they are unaccustomed to receiving poor grades.
  • They’re facing competing social demands. Students who got involved in too many campus organizations may have trouble balancing the demands of the organizations with the demands of coursework.
  • They will experience pressure to look for housing for the following fall. If your student is a freshman, your student may not be ready to move “off-campus” just yet but may feel pressure to do so. At Michigan, the housing search occurs very early in the semester. As a result, new students may consider signing year-long legal leases with friends they have only known for a few weeks, and it’s possible that those friendships won’t last but the legal contracts will.
  • They’ll begin to work on papers and must learn to navigate a college library system. The library system is an important campus resource, but because it is different from libraries that they have used in the past, it may be intimidating.
  • They are learning to manage their own money, and may have trouble sticking to a budget. College presents many pressures to spend money—pizza, movies, clothes, etc.—and they may run out of money sooner than expected.

What Parents and Family Members Can Do:

  • Be sympathetic, but try not to “fix” problems for your student. By letting students fix their own problems, parents demonstrate confidence in these young adults. Students then learn to have confidence in themselves. 
  • Help your student to be realistic about academic achievement at the University of Michigan. It is common for new U-M students to experience a drop in grade point average from their previous school. 
  • Encourage your student to seek out assistance with papers and assignments. There are many U-M resources designed to assist students with their academic struggles. You can also encourage your student to go to professors’ and Graduate Student Instructors’ office hours, or to seek help from librarians who are trained to assist students with the workload and faculty expectations at the University of Michigan. 
  • Discuss housing options for next fall with your student as soon as possible. Students will feel a lot of pressure very early in the fall. Be sure to listen to your student’s perspective and be open to new ideas. Many freshmen at Michigan expect to move off-campus for sophomore year, and many others feel pressured to do so before they’re ready. Discuss the pros and cons of moving off-campus, and the seriousness of committing to a year long lease. 
  • Help your student to establish a budget and live within it. Students who may be living on their own for the first time often have a limited understanding of money management. Education about financial responsibility begins with parents, but information can also be found online at https://sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/your-money-your-life/.
November

Care packages are a favorite way to show students how much you love them. Possible contents can include: food (homemade cookies or family specialties are especially nice), money, socks/slippers, pictures from home (don’t forget to include the family pet!), gift certificates for Ann Arbor restaurants or stores, microwave popcorn, candy/ chocolate/gum, letters from the family, vitamins, cold/flu medications, winter clothing, and toiletries

What’s Happening with New Students: 

  • They may be starting to feel like campus is “home” to them as they start to truly feel connected to campus. “New” friends may begin to feel like best friends. 
  • They may begin to feel more confident on campus as their knowledge about “how things work around here” and how to navigate the size and resources becomes easier. 
  • They may have more difficulty staying healthy, as the change in Michigan’s weather brings on cold and flu season.
  • Stress levels are high as midterms continue, and many papers and projects are also due. They also begin to realize that the term is almost over. Procrastinators may panic as they face the consequences of falling behind in coursework. Students may pull “all-nighters” to get work done.
  • They will begin to think about what classes to take for the winter term and may need to reach out to academic advisors for guidance. Typically students register based on how many credit hours they have and therefore seniors and juniors will begin to register in late November, while younger students may not register until December. 
  • They may continue to struggle with time management and balancing social activities with academics. The excitement of all the student organizations on campus sometimes leaves students overcommitted. 
  • Some students may have concerns about going home for Thanksgiving, especially if the student has changed dramatically since the last time they saw their family.

What Parents and Family Members Can Do:

  • Be supportive and encouraging as students build connections to the campus community.
  • If your student does get sick, remember that University Health Service is available on campus. Encourage your student to make an appointment and take responsibility for health-related concerns. Encourage a healthy lifestyle, including exercise, sleep, diet, and relaxation. Counseling and Psychological Services is also available for counseling and offers a “Wellness Zone” for relaxation as well as other in-person and online resources for college student wellness. 
  • Send care packages. Students can never get enough care packages from home. Remember to include cold/flu medications, tissues, cough drops, and anything needed to keep warm and dry as the winter approaches.
  • Be available to listen to concerns when your student contacts you, but don’t worry (too much) if your student doesn’t contact you as often as you would like. Students are typically very busy and often get too wrapped up in school activities to remember to contact family. 
  • Be supportive of your student’s academic progress without focusing on grades. Ask open-ended questions about what your student is learning, or why certain topics are of interest, instead of asking about grades on tests or papers.
  • Encourage your student to see an academic advisor before registering for classes, and to make appointments early to avoid complications. By seeing an academic advisor, students can stay on track when it comes to progress towards graduation.
  • Prepare yourself for changes. If Thanksgiving is the first time you see your student since the term began, you may be surprised at the amount of growth. If your student is a freshman, you may notice that the first year of college is a period of tremendous change and search for their own identity. Students may demonstrate this change in different ways—new haircut, new piercings, tattoos, changes in religious or political beliefs, etc. Your student will appreciate your support, rather than criticism, through this changing time. Recognize that while your student may be going through many changes, in the long run, your student will probably maintain many of the core values that you instilled before college.
December

Expect your student to be very stressed in December. While you won’t be able to prevent the academic stress, you can reduce the pressure for your student to participate in family obligations or traditions, which put added demands on a student’s busy schedule.

What’s Happening with New Students: 

  • After Thanksgiving, there is very little time until finals. Term papers and projects are due, and they may be the longest papers or projects that students have ever done. Final exams add an additional level of stress, and for new students experiencing U-M final exams for the first time, they will have an added fear of the unknown. Students will be working hard to be successful with these academic endeavors, but may also feel stress and uncertainty about the academic expectations. 
  • Due to the academic stress, students may neglect getting sufficient sleep, nutrition, or exercise in an effort to spend more time studying. 
  • For some students, the holidays and returning home to live with the family for the winter break may bring its own set of concerns and pressure, especially after a semester’s-worth of independence. 
  • Some students will have financial concerns, as the money they budgeted for the semester runs out earlier than planned. They may turn to credit cards to help them in their budget crunch.
  • They’ll probably sleep a lot over the winter break, as they try to ‘catch up’ on lost sleep!

What Parents and Family Members Can Do:

  • Be supportive during this stressful time, and send care packages and real mail. Snacks and special foods from home are always welcome this time of year.
  • Encourage healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise habits to help reduce the stress of college exam time. Healthy habits will also help your student to prevent illness as the winter sets in.
  • Be knowledgeable about campus resources and continue to refer your student to the University’s support services and resources for personal and academic help.
  • Encourage participation in study break activities offered at residence halls and at the Michigan Union and Pierpont Commons. These are great ways for students to relax.
  • Discuss home ‘rules’ and expectations for the Winter Break as soon as your student returns home, or preferably, before! Don’t wait for a conflict to arise before communicating your expectations. Students who have been making their own decisions for four months may find it difficult to suddenly succumb to their parents’ control again. Many parents have expectations about time spent with the family, which conflicts with student expectations to spend time with old friends and catch up on sleep.
January

At Michigan, learning takes place ‘outside of the classroom’ too. Encourage your student to attend educational and cultural events around campus, including guest speakers, musical and theater performances, museums, poetry slams, etc. Arts at Michigan can help your student explore those opportunities.

What’s Happening with New Students:

  • Students return to campus after the Winter Break. Many will feel homesick as they return to campus; others will feel relieved to be back to their independent lifestyle.
  • They will receive their grades from Fall Term and will either feel disappointed or delighted. Parental reactions to the grades weigh heavily on their minds and influence their stress level as they anticipate a new term. Whether the grades were good or bad, they will have a better understanding of what the U-M requires academically.
  • Students who wish to live in the residence halls for the next academic year will register to choose their rooms. The Housing Sign-Up allows students currently residing in University Housing to choose their rooms and roommates for the following academic year.
  • There will be uncertainties in the new semester, as students begin new classes and meet new professors.
  • Some students will make plans for study-abroad programs and other summer opportunities.
  • Sororities and fraternities hold Winter Rush for students who did not participate in the fall, or for those who were not accepted in the fall.

What Parents and Family Members Can Do:

  • Be supportive of your student regardless of the Fall Term grades. If grades were poor, encourage your student to seek out help from U-M resources in future academic struggles.
  • Remind your student of your academic and class attendance expectations, but also keep those expectations realistic given the level of academic difficulty at the University of Michigan.
  • Encourage your student to keep up with the coursework. Many students find that falling behind early in the term is a major cause of stress and failures later on in the term. Encourage effective time management strategies so that academics and social activities are balanced; as well as time for self-care. 
  • Refer your student to the Housing Information Office for information about how to live on-campus for the following academic year (Housing Sign-Up). If your student will be moving off-campus, encourage your student to utilize the Beyond the Diag resources. 
  • For many students, studying or working abroad is an important part of their college experience. Refer your student to the Center for Global and Intercultural Study for information about the wide range of opportunities.
February

Your tradition of taking a family vacation in February may change this year. Many students make plans to go on vacation with friends for Spring Break, and do not want to spend their break with the family. Talk to your student early on so that no one is disappointed at the last minute. With open communication, there may be ways to reach compromises. If not, remember that this is another milestone for a young adult, and be supportive of the decision.

What’s Happening with New Students: 

  • Students who applied for summer opportunities, such as jobs or study-abroad programs may learn whether or not they were accepted. 
  • As the cold weather and lack of sunshine continues, students may need to work harder on self-care. Some may neglect their health and exercise routines which are often easier to maintain in warmer months. 
  • Some midterms will take place this time of year, adding to student stress. 
  • Students may get ‘Cabin Fever’ due to being indoors a significant amount of time. As a result, students may be more anxious, tense, or distracted than usual. Students may also start to get frustrated with people around them — especially roommates.
  • Student organizations demand a lot of time from students. As a result, students who have trouble with their time management skills may feel overcommitted.
  • Some students have relationship anxiety, especially around Valentine’s Day.
  • Students make plans for Spring Break. This can give some students something to look forward to during the cold month, while other students may feel excluded. Those with financial concerns who are unable to travel at this time of year may feel left out. Spring Break may also lead to disagreements with family over different expectations for how and where this vacation will be spent.
  • Some students may demonstrate irresponsible behavior at parties over Spring Break, and suffer the consequences of that behavior.

What Parents and Family Members Can Do:

  • Encourage your student to actively enjoy the winter. Building a snowman, going sledding, or ice skating at Yost Arena could be the perfect study break! Enjoying indoor intramural sports and exercising at one of the three campus recreational buildings can keep students active and healthy. Students who learn to enjoy the winter, instead of dreading it, are better able to fight off ‘cabin fever’. For those in need of more sunshine, the Wellness Zone offers seasonal affective disorder light therapy. Of course, students suffering from depressive symptoms should seek out help from Counseling and Psychological Services office where trained staff can help students cope with stress, depression, and more.
  • Help your student to find balance between academics and extracurricular activities. The quality of extracurricular activities is more important than the quantity. If you suspect that your student is over-involved, encourage your student to reevaluate their choices. If your student is struggling academically, recommend that your student seek assistance from the on-campus resources, including faculty and graduate student instructors. 
  • Send care packages! Valentine’s Day is an excellent time for you to let your student know how much you care. 
  • Provide a listening ear when your student needs to talk about relationship or roommate concerns. Encourage your student to seek out help from the Resident Advisor if roommate conflicts cannot be resolved, and to Counseling and Psychological Services if relationship concerns are severe and interfere with the academic performance. 
  • Discuss your student’s plans and expectations for Spring Break. If your student is going on vacation, discuss who is paying for the trip, whether or not it will be spent with the family or with friends, and why it’s important to make responsible choices about alcohol and other drug use.
March

If you live close enough, March is a good time for a short visit to campus. Be sure to talk to your student ahead of time to make sure it’s a good time to visit. Students appreciate being taken out to dinner and going shopping when family members are in town!

What’s Happening with New Students: 

  • Most students will have their housing plans for the following year wrapped up by this point. This may be a relief for some. Others may find that they are no longer friends with the people they signed their lease with.
  • Students will take more midterms and have more papers and projects due. Those who procrastinated will feel the pressure build up in March. 
  • Students will register for courses for the following Fall Term, and for Spring/Summer Terms if they’re staying in Ann Arbor for the summer.
  • Freshmen students may feel pressure to declare a major, or to be accepted into one of the upper-level academic programs. 
  • Students make plans for summer jobs or internships. They may also be concerned about how they will fit into the family and the family’s expectations if they return home to live with their parents for the entire summer.
  • Financial aid documents for following year are due.

What Parents and Family Members Can Do:

  • Keep the lines of communication open. As your student makes plans for the summer and the upcoming Fall Term, your student may seek your guidance and advice or may want to make the decisions without your help. Recognize that either way, these decisions are part of growing up. Trust your student to make the right decisions. 
  • If your student is coming home for the summer, be sure to discuss your expectations for your student ahead of time. 
  • Encourage your student to see academic advisor before registering for courses.
April

Congratulations! You’ve made it through your student’s first year at Michigan! You should relax and enjoy this moment. Your student will continue to grow and change over the course of the next few years, and your relationship with your student will also continue to change. However, the first year is a big transition for you both, and you should feel proud if you have both managed to successfully navigate hurdles of this transition.

What’s Happening with New Students: 

  • Students get ‘Spring Fever’ as weather warms up, and they’ll find concentrating on academics harder than ever. There are also more distractions on campus, as students go outside to play Frisbee, go bike riding, or enjoy a stroll around campus.
  • Stress levels are high as papers and projects are due, and students take final exams.
  • Students living in the residence halls must make plans for moving out. 
  • For some, leaving their college friends for the summer will be the biggest concern of all.

What Parents and Family Members Can Do: 

  • Be supportive through this stressful time, and send care packages to help your student get through final exams. Encourage your student to take advantage of the campus study-break activities. 
  • Encourage your student to balance the academic workload with healthy habits -- getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and getting exercise are especially important during the stress of final exams. 
  • Communicate with your student about the end-of-term plans for moving out of the residence hall. Visit the University Housing website for updated information about the move-out process in the residence halls.
May

Plan ahead. Be sure to talk to your student about your expectations for saving money over the summer for the school year. Address any concerns you had about how money was spent in the first year, so you can avoid continued problems next year. Be sure to discuss the use of credit cards as well.

What’s Happening with New Students: 

  • Many students will return home for the summer. Students who return home may have anxiety about losing their independence, and be concerned about adjusting to life under their parents’ roofs again.
  • Other students will stay on campus and take Spring/Summer Term courses. Those staying on campus may choose to stay in a residence hall or to sublet an apartment or room near campus.
  • Students who lined up summer employment ahead of time will begin their summer jobs. Others will still need to find work.
  • Students participating in a study or work abroad experience may be leaving the country for their program.

What Parents and Family Members Can Do:

  • If your student is coming home for the summer, be sure to discuss your expectations about your student’s behavior, roles, and responsibilities during these summer months. Students may not be expecting to take on household-related tasks, especially if they have job and social commitments for the summer. This is a time to renegotiate the responsibilities as one adult to another. Will you expect your student to eat at family meals? Be home by a certain time? Call if coming home late? Or something else? These are all restrictions that your student has not had for 9 months. Be sure to talk about what you expect, and be willing to compromise, before problems occur.
  • Respect and appreciate the independent, self-reliant, mature person who has returned home, even if your student seems nothing like the person you dropped off in Ann Arbor last fall.
  • Use this summer to openly communicate with your student as an adult, and to discover and appreciate the intellectual growth that has developed in the past few months.
June

Take time to learn more about the University’s resources. You can be a helpful referral source when students need guidance on campus. Even though your student has completed a year on campus, there may still be much to learn about how to navigate the University’s resources and support systems.

What’s Happening with New Students:

  • Students who returned home may be experiencing conflict with their parents about independence, house rules, duties, expectations for work around the house, and respect for the needs of the family vs. the needs of the individual.
  • Students taking spring/summer classes will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Ann Arbor, while at the same time have to adjust to the faster pace of spring/summer term classes. Frequent opportunities for fun and social time may make studying a lower priority than it had been in the winter.
  • Spring half-term will end, and students taking Spring half-term classes will take finals.
  • Summer half-term begins.

What Parents and Family Members Can Do:

  • Discuss with your student what your expectations are for your student’s behavior, roles, and responsibilities during the summer months. Keep the lines of communication open all summer.
  • If your student is taking spring/summer courses, discuss your expectations for academic performance, but be realistic about the challenges of the faster paced half-terms.
  • Encourage your student to manage time appropriately. The summer will go by quickly.
July

Don’t forget to show your student your love. Tensions may be high as your student gets tired of living at home, and as you get tired of having your student home! Remember the summer will soon be over, and for some students, the summer after the first year is the last time they live at home ever again. Work to build a strong adult to adult relationship that will carry on long after your student moves out.

What’s Happening with New Students: 

  • Another cohort of new students will attend orientation. Your student may now feel nostalgic as they realize how quickly the year flew by and how much they have changed and grown as individuals.
  • Students who returned home for the summer may be anxious to return to campus in the fall and may miss their campus friends. Some may have anxiety that the relationships with their friends, boyfriends, or girlfriends may have changed over the summer.
  • Summer jobs reduce the amount of ‘spare time’ for students to relax and enjoy summer.
  • Students may be tired of living under ‘house rules’ and challenge parental rules.

What Parents and Family Members Can Do:

  • Appreciate your student’s growth and development and enjoy your new adult-to-adult relationship. 
  • Keep communication open about plans for fall, finances, and relationships. Students at this age are far more willing to communicate with parents as fellow adults.
  • Help your student to assess the successes and failures of the first year. Encourage resiliency to help your student overcome challenges and discuss your student’s goals for the upcoming year.
August

Most students declare a major by the end of the sophomore year. You should discuss careers and majors before your student returns to school and gets bogged down in the day-to-day stress of school work. Encourage your student to explore many career and major options, without pressure to choose something that pleases you. Your student’s academic advisor and the Career Center can help your student with these decisions.

What’s Happening with New Students: 

  • Summer half-term ends, and students taking summer half-term classes will take finals.
  • Students living on campus will move out of their residence halls or apartments, and may have to move home for a week or two before the fall housing lease begins. As a result, some will have anxiety about moving and storing their stuff.
  • Students may have anxiety about their new fall living arrangements and new roommates.
  • They’ll be sad that the summer is ending, but also excited to return to campus and see all of their friends again.
  • They may want to spend all of their remaining free time with old friends, instead of with the family. This may differ from what the family wants.
  • They may have financial concerns that they didn’t make enough money over the summer to support their budget needs for the fall.

What Parents and Family Members Can Do:

  • Support your student through another transition.
  • Help with moving and storage issues if possible. An extra pair of hands and a minivan on moving day are most appreciated.
  • Recognize that last days of summer will be busy, and your student will not want to spend much time with the family if friends are in town.
  • Continue to communicate with your student about your expectations for academics and behavior regarding drinking and relationships. Your role as a mentor continues throughout the college years, and these conversations become easier if you’ve established a respectful adult-to-adult relationship.