College is often a stressful time of life, and sometimes it can feel like parents don’t understand what college students are going through. However, there are some things college students love that parents do; these are things that students sometimes don’t tell their parents.
Ten things you can do as a parent that your College student will love
1. Visit them and take them out to eat
One thing that a lot of college students struggle with is feeling homesick. If you are able to, visiting your student at their college is a great way to help them still enjoy being at their university but also being able to spend quality time with them.
While you visit them, you could take them to lunch, visit museums, explore the community, or go for hikes nearby. This will also help your student to get to know the city they are in a bit better.
2. Send care packages
Care packages make students feel so loved and special! You could either send care packages during midterms or finals week or for holidays. Some of the things you could include in a care package include little snacks or candy, or self-care items such as face masks and skincare products.
3. Let them guide the conversation when they are at home and do not ask a bunch of questions
One thing that can often annoy college students is when parents keep asking questions about school or job or internship plans. It is totally fine to ask questions, just make sure you aren’t asking the questions like an interrogation. If your college student doesn’t seem interested in talking about this and begins answering with one-word answers, let them guide the conversation instead.
4. Tell them you are proud of them
College students are in a transitional phase of life and often feel confused about who they are and what they want to do in life. It is appreciated when parents just say that they are proud of their student for working so hard.
5. Check in on them
If you haven’t heard from your student in a few days, it can be nice to just text them and ask how they are doing. Do not feel the need to text them every single day, unless that is what your family normally does. Just make sure they are doing okay every now and then because school can be overwhelming.
6. Don’t constantly track their location while they are at school and ask where they are
It is totally fine if you want to have your student’s location for safety reasons, as long as your student is okay with it. Just do not ask them why they are out in the middle of the night or what they are doing, not at their dorm or apartment. College students tend to go exploring or go out to eat with friends at the weirdest hours of the day, so unless you are in fear for your child’s safety, try not to ask why they aren’t at home.
7. Be there for them emotionally
College students truly need emotional support. So many college students are stressed out about finding a job or internship, getting good grades, or even issues with friends. Give your honest advice and talk to them more as a friend than as a parent when your student is going through something emotionally overwhelming.
8. Make their birthdays and holidays special
One thing many college students miss about home when they are away at school is celebrating holidays and birthdays with their family. One way you can make holidays and birthdays special is by calling or texting, sending care packages, or even coming to visit them at their university if you are able to.
9. Make coming home comfortable
When coming home from school, college students really want to feel at home. If you turned your college student’s room into an office or home gym, try to make it as comfortable for them as possible. Even just buying your student’s favorite food to cook when they are back home can make a huge difference.
10. Utilize their short time at home
When your student comes home, try to spend as much time with them as you can. They are probably only going to be home for a week or two at a time, so if you can, hang out with them while they are home.
But don’t be upset if they want to spend time with their friends too! College students need to make the most of their short time at home, and sometimes this means catching up with friends from high school.
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