College students have a major benefit over their PreK-12 siblings, a really long Christmas vacation! How To Handle Second Semester Homesickness provides parents with tips to help you guide your student from the transition of home life back to life on campus.
Christmas was fabulous! You welcomed your college student home for Christmas Break , a new year kicked off, and now your son or daughter is settled back into their dorm or apartment. But…. they already want to come home?
How To Handle Second Semester Homesickness
Second semester can be harder than first semester for your son or daughter for several reasons. First, they must pick up their new friendships after being away from campus for almost a month. Second, just when they were really adjusting to college life during first semester, they are thrown back home for a month. Routines become confusing, and family dynamics change. Third, and probably most importantly, they are stuck indoors due to inclement weather and for the most part, there’s not a lot going on around campus in late January and February!
When is the peak time for homesickness? You’ve got it: February.
Get them through February, and the rest of the semester will be a breeze for them!
Unlike first semester, the hustle and bustle of football games and fall activities does not drive students out of their dorms and meeting with friends outdoors. February is cold for most regions, and snow can make dorm living more isolating than in warmer months.
Unless your son or daughter attends a basketball powerhouse school like UNC, Kentucky, UCLA, or Duke, there is most likely not a common denominator sporting element that bonds the campus in a combined, shared experience. If they attend college in a metropolitan area like New York, Boston or Chicago, the energy of the city may or may not bring your student out of their dorm high rise.
How to Handle Second Semester Homesickness: 3 Tips for Parents
Let them call you. Resist the urge to call and text your son or daughter 24/7. Let them initiate contact with you first. Sometimes, hearing from you night and day is not only a hassle, it can exasperate homesickness.
Focus on the positive and encourage engagement with others. When you DO speak to them, focus on the positive things on their horizon. Spring Break is only weeks away! Encourage them to join a new club, perhaps get a part time job, or see the university’s theatrical production. Goal: Get them out of the dorm!
I also find it helpful to remind my daughter of her strong faith that keeps her centered. “God has you in the palm of His hand.” Our family speaks this truth to one another frequently. Remind your son or daughter that loneliness will pass. Let them know you are praying for their success and happiness, then follow through on your end. Most universities boast many different on campus faith based organizations offering weekly opportunities for students to worship or simply hang out together.
Send them a care package! The alumni association at my daughter’s high school actually sends their college freshmen care packages in February. It’s a cute reminder that they are missed and not forgotten during the long month. You can check out my Exam Care Packages 101 for suggestions on sending them fabulous care packages. I would add some Valentine’s Day candy or something they will use during spring break to the list. If you are looking for a homemade goody, you can certainly tuck M & M Peanut Butter Blondies in the package – they are always a hit!
I know your son or daughter will have a WONDERFUL second semester! xoxo, heather