Before Your Student Leaves for School

  • Encourage your college student to talk about his feelings with his sibling.  Is he excited about college?  Is he nervous?  Is he a little sad or worried about leaving the family? Helping a sibling to understand that the college student may have some conflicted feelings may help her to deal with and talk about her own feelings and may make the leaving process less mysterious and overwhelming.
  • Encourage your college student to be patient with her sibling.  As exciting as it is, the leave-taking process is stressful for everyone.  Tempers may be short and emotions may be running high.  Your college student may need to be a bit more patient with her sibling and may need to work to understand his feelings and reasons for his actions.  It is a stressful time for those left at home as well as for the student who will be leaving.
  • Your college student might invite his sibling to become involved in the process and help him get ready.  He can help him pack, or make lists, or shop.  This will remind the sibling that he will not be shut out of your college student's life and the college experience.
  • Your college student might ask the sibling to make him something to take to college with him.  It might be a picture, an art or craft project or anything else that the sibling can create. 
  • Encourage your college student to spend a bit of extra time with her sibling.  The summer before college is a busy time: students are working, packing, preparing, and usually trying to spend as much time as possible with friends.  A bit of extra time spent with her sibling will remind the sibling that she hasn't been, and won't be, forgotten.

 
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