Your student’s transition into college is a time of excitement and opportunity. Here are some suggestions for supporting your student while he or she is adapting to the college environment.

Your Role As A Parent

Making the Transition to College

Connect consistently.
Your student may feel a mix of emotions about beginning the college experience – enthusiastic, anxious, confused, and/or optimistic. By being consistently available to your student, you will reassure them that they can talk to you as they experience new challenges and raise new questions.

Support your student in making informed decisions and taking independent action.
Your guidance and insight provides an important foundation for your student as he or she grows and matures. It is important to balance your advice with a reminder that you trust and support your student’s ability to make his or her own decisions. This will provide the support your student needs while developing his or her own identity.

Encourage your student to seek help and access supportive resources.
Facing new challenges, your student may feel overwhelmed or alone. Remind your student that asking questions and seeking answers is a proactive way of making decisions, and that there are campus resources available to help them, including student organizations, counselors, resident assistants, or members of the faculty and staff.

Finally, you may want to learn more about what your student’s campus does to promote healthy growth and personal maturity and what you can do to support those efforts. Many of these resources can be found under the college’s Student Affairs section of the website.

1. Evans, N.J., Forney, D.S., and Guido-DiBrito, F. (1998). Student Development
in College. San Francisco, CA: Jassey-Bass.
2. University of Central Florida Counseling Center – For Parents. Retrieved
December 11, 2006, from East Carolina University. Website: