TRAVEL: Create a travel plan, but be flexible. If your child is flying home or using some other form of public transportation you have probably already made arrangements, however if you haven’t begin as soon as possible to avoid any issues with your student not being able to leave per the university’s guidelines. This will help relieve any unnecessary stress. If you are coming to campus to pick up your student, build in additional time. Your student may still be packing when you arrive, have a lot of dirty laundry to gather up, and may want to say additional goodbyes to friends and hallmates. There will also be a large number of other parents coming to pick up their child and this may cause some congestion on campus. Prepare by bringing some snacks and drinks for the ride, although don’t be surprised if your student sleeps the whole trip home.
CHANGES: There may be changes at home and with your college student. As you are preparing for the break, make sure your student knows of any changes at home. Has the house been rearranged? Has the room your child once occupied been turned into a guest room or home office? Are you moving? Knowing about these and any other family changes will help ease your student back to home life. Your student will have grown and changed since you dropped them off. You are sending them to college to help them become independent and to grow and develop so don’t be surprised if they have changed. Expect that they have changed. To avoid any awkward moments, ask them about any changes prior to picking them up, such as: tattoos, hairstyles, new eating habits, and/or significant others. The important thing to remember when dealing with change is to be accepting and understanding. This will help you and your student have a successful and wonderful break.