Student unpacking bag in residence hall room

It is important for parents to understand the ups and downs attributed to a student's transition to college.

Here are some typical issues faced throughout the first year:


  • Excitement
  • Anxiety about classes, roommates, and a new environment
  • Freedom


  • Students begin to question whether they made the right choice
  • First test grades are returned
  • Midterm exams


  • Roommate challenges become clear/potential room changes
  • Many exams, papers, and projects due before Thanksgiving break
  • Excitement/anxiety about going home for their first break


  • Fear about preparing for upcoming finals
  • Different emotions about going home for the holidays


  • “Fresh start”
  • Homesickness/excitement for return
  • Satisfaction and/or disappointment with Fall term grades


  • Depression may occur with the onset of winter weather
  • Anxiety about finding housing for the following academic year


  • Midterm exam stress
  • Concern finding summer employment/activities
  • Spring Break plans


  • Excitement with the arrival of spring
  • Final exam anxiety
  • Apprehension about returning home for the summer