Your child has now been an independent collegian for a whole month or more. How is she faring? More importantly how are YOU faring? Do you worry or feel out-of-the-know? Don’t over react. Here are some tips for making sure you are still a responsible parent but not an over anxious one!
Make sure you have a way to reach your college son even if he is not immediately reachable. That is, have on hand friends’ and room mates’ cell phone numbers so you can check if your son is AWOL. You may find he’s with his girlfriend or on a weekend hike with the Outdoor Club.
Remember, there is an in loco parentis policy still in effect at colleges and universities, even the biggest ones. Whole Student Affairs Departments devote themselves to helping parents and students and offering support services. Usually there are pamphlets or contact cards for such services at Open House or during summer orientation visits, but if you didn’t receive that information then, just give the Dean of Student Affairs Office a call and have it emailed or sent. Then, if something comes up, from trouble in a course to substance abuse to residential hall upsets to mental health problems, you will have someone at the university to work with you.
Finally, just wait and take a deep breath. Major issues can dissolve into something your daughter can handle well by herself if you give it a chance to settle out. It might even be better for your college daughter to have the opportunity to sort it out on her own. Maybe she really only wants you to listen and not act…yet. One day is a good amount of time to see if you are truly needed.
College Basics has many good pieces of advice for parents, and the book The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College may be of help.