You're an Uncool College Parent If...

  1. #1. You wish your kid responded to your text.
  2. #2. You know they're over 18; and you still care.
  3. Read the rest...

When Your Freshman Comes Home For Thanksgiving Break…

Happy Thanksgiving
For those of us who have upper class college kids we can remember the first time our college student came home after being on their own for Thanksgiving break. For many of us it was an eye opening experience. Here was our baby who we had sent off not a mere 2-3 months ago. But after being on his or her own with no one looking over their shoulder sometimes the transition back to living under a parent’s roof was a little rocky. So here we are to caution you that things may be different with your college student when they return home and to be patient so the transition back home can be a smooth one.

As parents we have to remember that except for following some dorm rules our college kids are masters of their own schedule. They sleep when they want, go out when they want, eat when they want and the most important of all come in from a night out when they want. Also since college kids are usually on a whirlwind schedule, balancing studying and a social life many of us parents found that when our college kids came home the first thing they did was to to sleep and sleep they did; sometimes for the whole first day. I remember the first time my oldest came home for Thanksgiving break – he slept the whole first day away. There I was waiting to engage him and find out just how things were going at school and he was sleeping! I was frustrated – if only someone had told me that this might happen I would have been able to take a deep breath and not be so anxious
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It’s Thanksgiving! Hooray! Ok, maybe not hooray this year….

For the first time, my daughter won’t be home for Thanksgiving this year. She’s in school abroad. Shockingly her professors don’t seem to care that she is American and a major holiday is coming! Her last day of classes are the day after Thanksgiving and reviews have been scheduled for all of Thanksgiving week.

So she has a really good reason to stay at school. And of course, we’re happy that she is putting school first. But I won’t lie. I’m sad. Sad because this is absolute proof that our family is changing. No longer can I demand the presence of my children at a holiday feast and expect them to come. No longer can I pretend that I’m at the center of their lives. And no longer can I pretend that my daughter isn’t turning into an adult with her own life, her own demands, and her own priorities.
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Is Your College Student’s Living Situation Working Out?

Dorm room in a typical college dorm

Now that we are well into the semester – we at UCP are wondering how your college student’s living situation is going? This is usually a major source of anxiety during each year that your child goes off to school. Even if they are friends with their roommate(s) that doesn’t always translate into a good living situation. So many of our kids are used to having their own room, so the idea of sharing a room or a bathroom with other people may be unsettling. Just like learning to share toys in preschool or kindergarten was a growing experience, so is learning to share a living space with a virtual stranger.

So what is your kid’s expectation of their living situation? Your child should keep in mind that you don’t have to be great friends with a person to be great roommates. But, most kids would like to be friends, maybe not best friends, but at least friendly enough to grab a bite or walk to the library. Knowing their roommate ahead of time isn’t a guarantee that it will work out. Living together certainly reveals more about a person than a typical friendship.

As the year progresses, a roommate might reveal certain traits that make living together difficult. Living together takes compromise from both people. Respect is a big part of a successful living arrangement. Your roommate should not touch or borrow your stuff without asking. Your roommate should be quiet when you are trying to sleep or study. Do you expect to study in your room or are you one of those people who studies elsewhere and comes back to the room to relax and blow off steam? Do you want your room to be a gathering place for others or a quiet place of privacy? So many roommate conflicts are just that; lifestyle conflicts. But the bottom line is that your college student’s living space should feel safe, like home.
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