How to Ease Your College Student's Transition Home for the Summer

As the end of the school year approaches, many college students are preparing to move out of their college dorms and to return home to their parents for the summer. This transition home can present many challenges for parents and students alike. Here are several recommendations to help ease your college student’s transition home for the summer:

Accept change

The first year of college offers a wealth of personal growth experiences. Your student has been away from home for nearly a year, and he or she is returning from his or her first full opportunity to live as an independent adult. Consequently, expect some shifts from the structure you offered when your child lived at home. College students develop their own schedules and habits, which are often influenced by their peers. Your son may come home eating a vegan diet, or your daughter may have dyed her hair blue. You may not love these choices, but love your child for the individual he or she is. Accept that your student is learning to make his or her own decisions, and if those choices aren’t causing harm, try not to judge.  

Respect his or her privacy

It is natural for parents to treat their college students just as they did in high school. However, as your child has started his or her transition into adulthood, it is critical that you respect this growth and adjustment. Realize that your student has been living independently for nearly a year, and he or she may require more privacy and space than you previously afforded him or her. It is normal to set boundaries and rules while your child is living at home, but respect personal space when possible. Compromise may ensure that everyone gets along, and your student will likely appreciate the gesture. It is also one of the best ways to ease your college student’s transition home for the summer.

Review the academic year

Take some time over the summer to review your student’s academic year with him or her. Take genuine interest in his or her experience. If your child struggled during the first year of college, identify ways that you can offer support going forward. Encourage him or her to utilize academic resources like tutors, and offer suggestions for how to improve the college experience starting next semester. If your student had a successful first year, celebrate. These 6 strategies to improve your productivity may be a great resource! Your child may resist talking about college life, but don’t let this worry you. He or she may just want to move on from the school year and enjoy the summer.  

Spend time with him or her

It’s natural for parents to find new hobbies and establish new personal routines when their student moves out of the house. When their child returns, parents may find these changes disconcerting, as they expect to return to their current home life or structure. It’s healthy to continue working and participating in social activities, but don’t forget to schedule quality time with your student while he or she is home. These 4 board games can help improve your critical thinking skills and could be a great family activity! Keep in mind that your son or daughter may also want to spend time with his or her friends, so respect this arrangement, as well. Remember that summer experiences can help your student craft college essays when they return to school in the fall!

Returning home for summer break can be a happy and challenging time for both college students and parents. However, these tips may help to ease your college student’s transition home for the summer. Good luck!