Elmira, NY (08/22/2022) — Summer days are getting shorter and temperatures are cooling. At Elmira College, that means Fall Term is nearly here and the campus move-in day is just days away. While college is a big transition for students, it is also a big adjustment for parents. Whether it is a parent's first or fifth child in college, letting go can be tough.

Below are some tips and suggestions for parents that will help ensure both you and your parents are ready for the road ahead:

TIPS FOR PARENTS:

    Before your student leaves for college treat them to something special. Have some time set aside together. This could be college shopping, dinner without other siblings, or even going for a walk together. Hopefully, your student knows how to make the bed by now (you have only asked them to do that a million times), but try doing a load of laundry together. Make a simple meal together. Show them how to balance a bank account and talk about time management. All of these little things add up to create a more independent, successful student. During the car ride to campus, talk about your expectations, especially as it relates to life outside of the classroom. Discuss college parties, responsible habits, following COVID-19/ other health guidelines, and what that means for your new student and your family. The College has developed guidelines to help ensure a safe learning and working environment, but that environment is put in jeopardy if guidelines are not followed. As hard as it may be, try your best not to focus on the upcoming goodbye and departure. You might miss the full impact of the orientation festivities and the excitement of your student. Reach out to other parents of new students you know. They are likely feeling and going through the same thing. Just a quick conversation could create a support network for whenever you need it. As your student settles into college life, they might feel homesick. This year, more than ever, fight your urge to pick them up and bring them home. Instead, offer to set up a family video chat or send a care package with their favorite things from home. Students may call about struggles with a roommate or friend. Do not take the issue on yourself, but discuss a course of action your student can take to solve the problem. Let them advocate for themselves. However, if problems continue or worsen, advise your student to contact their Resident Assistant (RA) or Residence Life professional staff member. For many parents transitioning from seeing your student on a daily or regular basis to not at all may create some anxiety and uncertainty, but many new students need time to adjust and fully immerse themselves into college life, so don't be alarmed if you don't hear from them right away or all the time. Remember to trust your parenting, be there if your student needs you, and know that they will learn and grow over the next four years.

Hopefully, these tips help ease the transition to having a college student. If you have questions, please contact the Residence Life professional staff.

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