2019 Parent Guide

Page 15




indiana university student foundation

Leadership for a Lifetime

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Ways to help your

homesick student By Claire Peters clapete@iu.edu | @claire_peterss

Living on your own for the first time can be tumultuous for your student, especially with all the changes occuring at the same time. Moving away can have varying effects on students. Some will be fine on their own and others will need more support to help with missing home. Here are some ways to help your student if he or she needs it. Being there for them and communicating often with your student is a great first step. How will you know he or she is struggling if you don’t talk about it in the first place? Reassuring students they are not alone in this experience can help them open up about it and take their first steps to dealing with this

feeling. Finding out what they are struggling with or what specifically they are missing can help parents be more efficient in solving it. Encourage them to get out of their room and talk to other students about it. Hearing about other people’s similar experiences would help them feel less alone and maybe help them learn what they can do to help them ease the feeling. Socializing and getting involved will help them keep busy and help them feel more at home in their new place on campus. They could do this by talking to people on their floor or visiting the beINvolved website to find groups and organizations to join. Sending them care packages from home can remind them their parents are thinking of them. This could

just be some treats and gifts, but also some things they might be missing, such as local snacks or pictures of home. It’s beneficial to be there for your student and to help him or her through difficult times, but it’s good to create a healthy balance to help him or her gain independence. While students might need someone to talk to and be there, they don’t need a helicopter parent calling every five minutes. Homesickness is very common among new students, so thankfully there are a lot of resources for students who are having a difficult time. If it becomes more serious and leads to anxiety or depression, students can contact Counseling and Psychological Services at the IU Health Center.

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