Homesickness is experiencing a longing for home during a period of absence. This is a feeling that your student may face at college. For many students, this is the first time they have been away from home for an extended period of time, and it is very common to miss family and friends from back home. If you think your student is homesick, encourage them to seek involvement opportunities. Joining an organization, attending University Program Council events, or even talking to a neighbor in class is a great way to meet fellow students. It is amazing what making a few friends will do to help distract your student from missing home.
Also consider sending a thoughtful care package to let your student know that you miss them as well. Providing a little piece of home can help ease the sadness.
We know that you love to have your student home but returning home can often prolong homesickness. If you feel as though your student is coming home too often, set a schedule with your student for trips. If they come home on an off weekend during football in the beginning of the semester, challenge them to stay at school until the next away game, or Thanksgiving break. After all, your student has to be on campus in order to meet friends and find opportunities for involvement.
If your student doesn't seem homesick, don't worry! The transition from high school to college is a huge one, and there is a lot on your student's plate. Your student may be more focused on acclimating to this new life rather than missing home – which it completely fine.