For College Freshmen, Leaving Home May Bring Mixed Emotions

SUNDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) — Moving from home to attend college or university can be exciting for students but also somewhat overwhelming and intimidating.

There are a number of things they and their parents can do to ease this transition, according to experts at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Advice for students:

  • Stay positive and relax. Other new students are experiencing the same thing you’re going through. Introduce yourself to someone new. It’s likely they don’t know anyone else either.
  • Familiarize yourself with the city. Use public transit to learn the different travel routes. Exploration will help you find places to get the things you need and locations for things such as fun and recreation.
  • If you don’t know how to do something, call your family and friends.
  • Even though everything is new and exciting, you need to make classes and assignments your priority.
  • Make connections by checking out the numerous types of events offered on campus. This will help you meet more people and reduce the chances that you’ll become homesick.
  • Take steps to ensure your safety. Check your school’s Web site for security programs or get safety advice at the student union office.

Advice for parents:

  • Offer continued support through any changes in things such as clothing style, level of academic success, and interests.
  • Send pictures and news items from your hometown paper.
  • Don’t worry if there is an initial drop in grades or your child expresses concerns about workload.
  • Don’t surprise your child with unannounced visits.
  • Write, even if your child doesn’t write back.
  • Discuss safety issues with your child and encourage them to find out about campus safety and security, safe travel at night, and emergency procedures.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about health and safety for college students.