First-Year College Students and Family Separation

First-Year College Students and Family Separation

Even the most eager and excited college freshmen are bound to feel homesick throughout the first few months of their college experience.

The weeks leading up to leaving home are packed with preparation, shopping, saying goodbye, and visualizing all of the new experiences that lie ahead. Once move-in is complete, and parents have said their goodbyes, the reality of living among strangers in a new, foreign place without any reminders of home can be very difficult for some.

Many don't realize they'll have to manage their day-to-day lives all independently, without their parents to fall back on.

Oftentimes, it isn't the student alone who can experience issues with coping. Parents often struggle to adjust to this new phase of their lives without their teens and find themselves experiencing a bit of separation anxiety when they finally leave for school.

Separation anxiety in first-year college students

It's normal for your child to experience some symptoms of separation anxiety. Here are a few signs of separation anxiety and how they can affect you and your teen:

  • A feeling of helplessness, sadness, or irritability
  • Excessive worrying
  • Fear or hesitation about going off to school
  • Nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Stomachaches, nausea, or vomiting
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Loss or changes in appetite
  • Crying
  • Substance abuse

Dealing with separation anxiety

It's normal for both kids and parents to experience many signs and symptoms of separation anxiety during the first year away from school. Those who already suffer from mental health issues such as depression or anxiety may require more emotional support. Here are a few ways you can help your new college student adjust to their transition to college:

  • Talk to your child beforehand and let them know it's normal and okay to feel overwhelmed as they adjust to their new life at school.
  • Actively listen to them and encourage them to talk about the stress they're facing.
  • Encourage them to try new things, like joining a club or get involved in extracurricular activities.
  • Educate yourself and your child about the places they can go for mental health help, such as on-campus support groups or counseling centers.

We’re here to help

We are eager to help support and breathe life into those who need it through the various stages in life. At Michigan Psychological Care, our mission is to help you find the care and treatment you need. We work to put your worries about opening up to rest by providing a comfortable location and atmosphere.

Our sessions are provided in a one-on-one setting with one of our experienced therapists. If you're interested in group counseling, we also provide that. Whether you're dealing with substance abuse issues, anxiety troubles, or are looking for depression treatment options; we have three facilities to provide you with the compassionate care you deserve conveniently.

Leave us a contact form so that we can schedule an appointment.

Keywords: therapy for depression, counseling, separation anxiety, depression