How long does it take kids to "adjust" to the first time away at college?

LISA - posted on 09/16/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I keep hearing that freshman need to give college time and that it will get easier. How long does it take for most kids to realize this is for them or not? My son is on the fence between community college and a four year school. It doesn't help that his girlfriend of 1 1/2 years needs a "break". She is going to the same four year college. Intentions are vague. His heart is on the line and I can't make the decision for him. Both schools have an advantage. Is having him go for one quarter long enough to know if this will work for him, regardless of the girlfriend situation? Or am I asking too much of him?

And I thought teething was tough!

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Judith C - posted on 08/29/2012

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My son wanted to go to a college away from home. We live on Long Island and he choose Plattsburgh. Needles to say, very far away if you know New York. His birthday was the second day of classes. He is the youngest of four and i am divorced. He has been there since Sunday. He is calling me and telling me I am miserable. He is calling my ex-husband, his sisters and his brother. He is also calling my two sisters who live in the same house as me in a two family home. I am so set to be strong and tell him he is sticking it out till at least Parents weekend, which is September 21st. I want him to stay the whole year due to finances and all the cost associated with college. I know people who have taken their kids out after three days and I refuse to do this. I am trying to be strong and my only back up who helps me and does not say "MAYBE HE SHOULD COME HOME NOW" are my son and daughter. This could be because they know all the trouble we went thru dropping him off. They went with me. I would appreciate any advice people can give. It is so hard to do this.

Rose - posted on 10/18/2009

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My daughter is a freshman and our only requirement before she decided to dorm was that she stay the first year. I have heard the first semester is the hardest adjustment period and by the second semester they will either love it or hate it. So try to encourage your son to hang in there his first year. As far as his girlfriend going there, these things happen and he just has to go on with his life.

Nancy - posted on 10/18/2009

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I agree with Anne and Lynne. Do not let them quit quickly any more than you have allowed them to quit anything else! Life does not allow that of them! My son is on the east coast and we are on the west. It is not easy. He is now a senior. He says it is hard every year to leave his friends and family, but considers it as a job. (He also loved it after the first 6 months of first year.) He stays VERY busy by taking heavy academic load and works on campus. His girlfriend is here and they text or talk almost daily. The two of them consider their lives separate at this time even tho in the future, they may be married. College is a time for individual growth!

Betty - posted on 10/17/2009

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my daughter is in her first year of college and loving it. It took a few weeks for her to get used to new people. She is now making good friends and really enjoying going to school. It takes my students a few weeks to decide if that is the right school for them.

Anne - posted on 10/17/2009

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Our daughter is now in her last semester at a college that is a 4 day drive from home. We live in MI she goes to college in CA. When we went to her new student orientation they told us it would take between 4-6 weeks for students to realize they were homesick and to get through that part of being at college.

Because our daughter was soo far away we did not see her again until she came home at Christmas break. If he has already started college he will lose so much if he comes home now. Most scholarship money is for a full year. Dorm assignments although can be changed are made for a full year also. I truly think if He were our son we would encourage him to stay at the 4 year college for the first year. My reasons for saying this are not to be mean but we are not raising children. WE never were even when they were babies. Although we do not really think in these terms when they are newborns or even toddlers, but if all else is "Normal" we are raising future adults. Our daughter went back to school the first year after Christmas break and ended up with mono. Thank God she did not need to come home because she was not real sick. One of her friends had it so bad she had to drop out of school that semester. Then when she was getting over that the young man she met and started to date just before Christmas Break decided to break up with her. Again with God's help she made it through this. Both times she came out of these experiences a much stronger person. More determined to do pursue her Purpose in life.

Helen - posted on 09/28/2009

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Hi Lisa...my daughter is a junior at college this year and loves her school and friends there. she has met lifelong friends. when she was a freshman it took until christmas for her to feel a part of it though. at first she wanted to come home, didn't like it. i told her to stick it out until christmas and if she still felt the same way she could come back home and go to a closer college. by christmas she founf her niche, loved the campus, made a ton of new friends.!! hopefully this helps you :)

Lynn - posted on 09/27/2009

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I will tell you the first semester is very difficult for the kids. I am not clear if he is already in college or preparing to head off to college. If he is already in college encourage him to stay for at least the semester. Encourage him to get involved in clubs of any interest. He will adjust once he finds where he fits in. College away from home is not for everybody and if it is not the right fit for him then he is better off going to the community college. It is complicated that he and the "girlfriend" are having a relationship issue, but he needs to know that he cannot make a decision based on her and her decisions. Listen to him have him think through the pros and the cons. Why did he select the school he has selected? If it was to be near his girlfriend then chances are he may be at the wrong school for him.

Carolyn - posted on 09/16/2009

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My daughter waited 4 yrs before saying she wanted to go to school. That's a long time after High School to still be at home. She is great has been at the Community College for the 4th Semester. She still does not know what she wants to do and she is still living at home. Don't push him is my best advice he needs to know he can make his own decisions and he will make mistakes, but that is how we all learn what works for us and what does not.

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