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Help for the Homesick

Remember that your student’s transition to college life may be difficult.

Reach out in whatever way you can to reassure your student that he or she is in your thoughts.

Here are some tips for parents to use to do just that:

  • Send a care package of goodies just because you miss your child and to show your support. Check out the Hip Kits website to find a care package for every occasion, including birthdays, holidays, and graduation—or make your own!
  • Do not ask if he or she is homesick. The first few weeks of school are packed with welcoming activities, decorating residence hall rooms, going to classes, and other social events. This may take the majority of your student’s time, and feelings of homesickness may not arise unless asked about it specifically. But trust us; they do miss you!
  • Write or e-mail often. Even if your student does not write back immediately, just drop a note to say hi and let him or her know what’s happening at home.
  • Ask questions (but not too many). Show your interest in the newest chapter of your student’s life.
  • Be supportive (but do not smother). Provide a supportive atmosphere for students to learn and grow. If they are not getting straight A’s, be supportive and accepting, but encourage them to do their best. Help them evaluate their strengths and weaknesses after every semester to promote a successful college experience.
  • Visit (but not too often). Take advantage of weekend events, such as Homecoming and Family Weekend, to give you an excuse to visit your student. Occasional visits will give your student something to look forward to (and an opportunity to squeeze in some shopping for things they need).
  • Get to know the university yourself. Know where to turn and what resources are available, so that when your student cannot find it on his or her own, you can help in the process.

(Adapted from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2008)

  • Student Affairs Division
  • Sutton Hall, Suite 211-216
    1011 South Drive
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-4040
  • Fax: 724-357-4977
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.