Preparing for College

Home for The (Happy?) Holidays

When it starts to approach that time of year, that stretch leading up to Thanksgiving and flowing into the New Year, parents of college students start to anticipate the return of their collegiate progeny — for better or worse. I say “worse” because the arrival of young people who have just been on their own for the better part of three months (and probably up all night on more than one occasion) can bring an element of disruption to an otherwise calm, orderly household. I know what I’m talking about, having had two collegians in my family.

If you are the parent of a fist-year college student, this first, extended holiday “visit” can prove to be especially “interesting,” if not downright stressful. Why is that? Well, for starters, your son or daughter has been completely on his or her own since you dropped them off that first memorable day. Of course, this assumes that they are residential students at a college far enough away that they haven’t been home for their first visit yet. As parents, we can only imagine the kinds of lifestyles they’ve been maintaining in the dorms. Granted, maybe we don’t wantto imagine, or even know. Anyway, your child will be returning from an extended period of relatively total freedom, back into the strictures of Mom and Dad’s place. That can result in a conflict of sorts, perhaps more like the merging of warm and cold fronts on the weather radar. Sometimes storms can develop.


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