The pilgrimage of trucks and SUV's loaded to the roof with must-have survival gear for the freshman year of college has ended and the freshman class of 2012 at US colleges is safely tucked into dorms and apartments. This is a journey of mixed emotions for students and parents. There is the excitement of the achievement of a major life milestone mixed with fear of the unknown and the first lengthy separation of parent and child.
Today's parents can keep in touch with their new college freshmen by cell phone and email. And they should. College freshmen are learning to live away from home. Most of their experience will be positive. However regular contact with a parent adds an outlet for expressing concerns and for getting advice and encouragement. Parents should keep in mind that one of the main reasons a student fails to thrive at a university is failure to bond with the campus. Parents who sense a feeling of isolation in their new freshman should encourage them to join campus organizations and study groups and to get to know their professors and counselors.