Preparing for College

Help for apprehensive boarding-school freshman?

Question: What words of advice do you offer to parents of a very apprehensive 9th grader who is going away to boarding school for the first time? What encouragement can we share with her to help her get beyond the homesickness?

As your daughter takes this big step, however apprehensively, the encouragement you offer might be tied to the reasons she's going away in the first place. For instance, if the high school at home doesn't offer the interesting and challenging classes that her new boarding school will provide, then you can emphasize the pluses of a stronger academic program. If sports or arts are priorities and took a starring role in this decision, then be sure to remind your daughter of the opportunities she'll have. If she'd simply grown weary of the same ol' crowd she's known since kindergarten, then point out that she'll make friends at her new school from across the country or perhaps from around the world.

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