I always tell the college-bound students with whom I work that it takes time to feel comfortable in their transition to college and a new environment. Adjusting to college is more difficult for some students than it is for others. Those who choose schools that are closer to home may find the transition easier than those who go farther away. I should know. All five of my children went to out-of-state colleges and so did I, thousands of miles away from home.
I usually have a few students who are homesick from the beginning and believe they have chosen the wrong college. They do not realize that this is a normal reaction and that many of their fellow students feel exactly the same. When you leave the familiar surroundings, family, and friends who you have known for years, you can't expect to create that same comfort zone overnight. It takes time. I repeatedly email tips for adjustment and encouraging words to my new freshmen who are struggling the first few weeks.
For students, this first month or two are critical to the success of their college experience. They need to be patient and persevere. I suggest they leave their door open in order to meet new people and get involved on the campus in areas that interest them. For parents, it is vital to support this transition to college by emailing, texting, and offering positive reinforcement. Listening and not always offering suggestions is sometimes the best thing you can do.
I recently saw an article that explained how important this transition to college is. I have included an excerpt.
"Why are the first six weeks of college so important? "Several sources suggest that nearly 40% of students who begin college will not complete their education, and according to some college experts, more than half of college students who leave college do so in the first six weeks. A freshman’s most critical transition period occurs during the first two to six weeks.”