When Your Student Comes Home for the Summer
It's June, which means that school's out and your student is probably home for the summer.
Whether it's for a few weeks or a few months, having a college student back in the house can be both rewarding and stressful at the same time.
You can't wait to hear about all the things they've learned and experienced over the past year. They just want to wind down, sleep in and catch up with old friends.
What can you do to make sure this summer is enjoyable for both you and your student?
Comforts of Home
During the first few days or even weeks that your student is back, don’t be surprised if they sleep—a lot.
The stress of finals—combined with the pressure of moving back home and saying goodbye to new friends—means they’ll probably need some time to decompress and recharge their batteries.
Since your student has been away, they've gotten used to doing what they want, when they want.
Don't be surprised if they've picked up some interesting habits, like eating cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, doing laundry at 2 a.m. or sleeping in until noon.
One of the best ways to ease them back into the family routine—while avoiding an argument—is to have a conversation about your expectations early on.
Possible topics might include curfews, family trips and obligations, household chores and car use.
Be clear to prevent misunderstandings. Would you like them to pitch in around the house every once in a while? Drop off a sibling at summer camp? Set boundaries to ensure your peace of mind and theirs.
A Time to Reconnect
While your student was at school, texting, phone and email were probably your go-to modes of communication.
Now that they're back home, you have the opportunity to reconnect face-to-face.
Encourage your student to share stories during a family dinner. And make sure to ask about their classes, professors and friends. Be curious about their life without being too inquisitive.
This is also good time to help your student identify or reassess their goals. Whether your student is choosing a major or considering a possible career, the most important thing is to lend an ear and an open mind.