It’s that time of year again. A time when school starts to catch its rhythm and new students realize how much they are missing home. It’s not just home, but what is connected to home: parents, friends, siblings (they never thought they’d miss), pets, and constant access to the kitchen.
It’s normal for students to feel homesick.
It can look different, but often resembles frequent contact and occasionally a desperate attempt to get back home. During graduation, it’s not uncommon for us to hear about the first weeks away that seemed insurmountable at the time, only to transition into a thriving experience with us on the Hill.
As a parent it can feel a bit helpless to know what to do. So here are a few tips that can be modified to meet the needs of your individual child:
Emotions Change from Hour to Hour
Plan a time everyday, once a day, to connect with your child while noting that you realize they will struggle in moments and that you have the confidence in them that they can get through it. Often we see tough moments pass, without any intervention; noting this helps students realize they are able to get through really uncomfortable feelings.
Normalize What Your Child is Experiencing
Reassure them that this happens a lot and it can help to seek on-site support. Sharing your own story of adjusting to college or boarding school can help normalize the struggle and overcoming it.
Remind your Child of ‘Why’ They Came to Tilton.
Bring back that purpose and, although it may not feel as important in this moment, in the larger picture it is.
Encourage Your Child to Get Involved in Clubs, Events and Outings.
The more they interact here, the more they will establish the relationships they need to feel connected. Also, connecting with peers who have also experience homesickness can be very beneficial.
Most students can relate to a time where they felt homesick or had a struggle to overcome. That appropriate sharing can build relationships on its own while offering additional support.
This does not last forever. It’s normal for someone to struggle as they adjust to a new place. If you feel your child is struggling more than normal, please reach out to their advisor to increase campus support. You can also contact the on-site counselor Angela Juurlink at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603.286.1764.