Roughly a month into college, your freshmen student may be feeling the effects of homesickness. For some students, this may be the longest they’ve ever gone without seeing their families. Some take it harder than others, but there are several things you can do to help your freshmen make this transition a little easier.
First off, talk to them. The last thing you want to do is be overbearing, but a simple “I love you. Hope everything is going great!” text message can make him or her much happier throughout their day. You may also consider sending them a letter or card. SAU students have access the SAU Post Office located in Reynolds Center. Students who live on-campus can receive a post office box free of charge.
Visits can be great and are strongly encouraged. A family day trip to good ol’ SAU can be very uplifting to your student. Tour the campus, grab a bite to eat at one of the many great restaurants in town, and check out their residence hall room. Be cautious when planning a surprise visit. When away from home, there are many freedoms new freshmen can experience, and one of them is not having to tell their parents all their plans. For this reason, always check and see when your student is available and what date is most convenient for them.
Lastly, encourage your child to get involved on campus. There are many organizations and activities on campus ranging from intramural sports, Greek life, and student government for them to be a part of. Being involved and staying busy can make his or her freshmen year of college so much more enjoyable.
As you can see, there are multiple ways to try and reduce homesickness. One important thing to realize when dealing with this issue, though, is YOUR FRESHMEN IS SCARED. Whether they admit it or not, this is probably one of the hardest things they’ve ever had to do. Your job as a parent is to be there when they need you. Homesickness will come and go, and your student will become more independent. With this independence will come the Complete College Experience here at Southern Arkansas University!
Written by: Truitt Key, former student from Crossett, AR.