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The relationship roller coaster

By Jennifer See, LPC, LCDC

Your first-year college student has been in a long-term relationship with their high school sweetheart. The walls of their dorm room are plastered with a montage of pictures from homecomings, parties, prom and graduation as a couple. The two of them have been in pretty much constant contact since they started at their different colleges. Then you get a phone call. Out of nowhere (to them, to you), the relationship is “on a break.” Or maybe your student has had a fall-out with a close friend, and now their “bestie” since middle school has blocked them on social media. While many long-distance relationships and friendships survive — and even thrive and deepen — after high school, not all make it. The transition from high school to college is

a big one. Away from home for the first time, students are immersed in new experiences and freedoms, and they spend more time with their new friends than they ever did with the old high school group. Breakups happen and friendships can shift or come to a screeching halt. Regardless of the circumstances, breakups are painful, but throw in being in a new environment far from the familiarity and comfort of home, and your student could have a tough time handling the loss.

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Whether you’re a first-time or seasoned college parent, here are tips for how to support your student through the demise of any relationship, romantic or otherwise.

Be there. They will probably want to talk and FaceTime more frequently during this time. Show your support by simply being there and listening. Your student needs to process the event. If they go silent after they’ve told you the news, be sure to reach out to them with periodic check-ins.

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Austin, TX College Parent Magazine  

Support your student at Austin with advice from this College Parent Magazine. Flip through and discover information about finances, safety,...

Austin, TX College Parent Magazine  

Support your student at Austin with advice from this College Parent Magazine. Flip through and discover information about finances, safety,...