Do or did you have an unhappy college freshman home for the winter holidays?
Going away to college is stressful for many kids (and, yes, parents, too).
Creating a new life away from home can be daunting, and stress is normal.
And it's completely natural for freshmen to come home and regress.They may sleep a lot and ask you to do things you haven't done for years. You may be doing loads of laundry and taking them to lots of doctors' appointments.And in that pool, some kids come home believing they made the wrong college choice.And that is entirely possible for 10 to 20% of them.The larger majority of others need some love and understanding.
In Chinese, the word for crisis also means opportunity.
So as you talk with unhappy your college freshmen, please remind them that no matter what you will help them make a plan.
This crisis can turn into a great opportunity to think about what makes your student truly happy.
A psychiatrist friend of mine who is an expert with teenagers said that parents (and counselors) need to be as supportive as possible but also try to distinguish between real depression and situational challenges.
Some kids do need professional help and a visit to your doctor or therapist may be a great first step.
I field several calls each winter holiday break from confused college freshmen.