When a child goes to university in a place far from home, many factors come into play that we must watch:
- Pack correctly.
- Prevent situations.
- Prepare them for possible dangers.
- Consider managing nutrition, health, legal paperwork, time management, new academic demands, and feelings.
The emotional change can be confusing and include pride, excitement, worry, and a hint of sadness and nostalgia for the change that means leaving home, even temporarily.
Strengthening your physical and mental health before leaving for college is crucial. Not only that of the students who will live far away but also that of the parents who, after protecting and watching over that son or daughter daily for years, will feel their absence.
Below, we share some tips developed by different expert psychologists on the subject, which can help minimize feelings of worry and sadness before and during the distance.
- 1. Open communication: Talk about your emotions. Communication dispels doubts and opens doors to search for tools and handle them before they increase in intensity. This communication should be a conversation, not a questionnaire, to build trust between both parties.
- 2. Express your feelings: Share the fears of both. Parents often fear drug exposure or excessive use of alcohol. By expressing it, the student becomes aware that he could hurt his parents and can also help to influence them to avoid engaging in these practices.
- 3. Set limits: It is common for students at that young age, never having been outside the family nucleus, to confuse freedom with licentiousness. Freedom means making your own decisions. And debauchery means mistaking freedom and executing it excessively. This exercise must be carried out in both parts; for example, the parents explain the limits they want to establish regarding not using drugs. The children can request that they not be called several times a day.
- 4. Reinforce the positive reasons why they selected that university. Talk about all the educational advantages to which the student will be exposed, the quality of the teachers, and the subject matter of the classes. In this way, you will be able to understand and value the opportunity to which you expose yourself.
- 5. Remember all the experiences you will be exposed to and how they will make you a helpful adult. Making decisions for himself, managing his discipline behaviors, and taking care of his grooming and nutrition are some examples that will make him grow, and those are also positive aspects of the decision.
- 6. List the advantages of the environment: Perhaps the university is close to an exciting city or has a good entertainment program. These are additional advantages that experience provides. As well as meeting new people, possibly from different cultures.
The to-do list before sending your child to college is long. But including strengthening the emotional aspect is as important as everything else. If sadness or worry is too intense, don’t hesitate to see your doctor and seek help.