The summer between high school and college can be an emotional time for both students and parents. After 17 to 18 years of living at home, under parental scrutiny, college-bound teens suddenly encounter the reality of "escaping the nest" (with all the associated (usually) positive and negative circumstances). For some, it may be like Columbus' voyage to the New World, filled with both excitement and dread. For others, it may be a time of stress, with serious concerns about finances, social relationships, and independent living, among others.
Perhaps one of the most significant concerns pertains to adjustment. That is, (from a student perspective) "Can I make it through all the way to get my degree?" and (from a parental perspective) "Is s/he really ready for this big change?" Millions of parents and their college-bound kids are celebrating and preparing for the big transition this fall. Bestselling author and nationally syndicated advice columnist Harlan Cohen says the most important thing parents can do this summer is to encourage and support their child in finding their place on campus before leaving home.