The truth is that moving can be incredibly stressful. One study revealed that over 58% of Americans find moving more stressful than planning for a wedding! Many of your students will be leaving their homes for the first times to go out on their own. This can cause a great deal of anxiety.
For Sale by Owner put together a great guide to help kids prepare for a move. Many of these tips can be adapted to help high schoolers who are planning the big move to College in another city or even state.
One primary way you can help support your students with moving away from home to College is to provide sincere reassurance. Award-winning author and psychoanalyst Dr. Laurie Hollman says “Don’t only talk to them in preparation, but listen closely to their perceptions, fears, hopes, and anticipations,”. “Sometimes, just feeling listened to… helps all [on its own].” In other words, being supportive and understanding can go a long way in helping your student cope with heading off to college.
- Be positive but be realistic.
- Listen to them with your full attention.
- Let them talk without interjecting.
Visit The School
Another way to ease the transition of moving is to visit the school. Spend a weekend to get comfortable with the area can help put them at ease. If an in-person visit is out of reach, photos or virtual walkthroughs of the school can also help them envision themselves living there and ease their anxiety.
- In-person visits to the school prior to them attending are preferable.
- Virtual visits are an option too through photos, videos and Google Maps street view.
- Help your student envision themselves living there.
Tips That Can Ease Their Anxiety
Let Them Plan How Their Dorm Room Will Be Set Up
Get them excited about their new room by encouraging them to start planning it out.
Don’t Have the Parent Do Everything for Them – Get Them Involved In Packing
Getting them involved in packing what they want to take will create excitement.
* Encourage them to start a journal to document their college experience
* Inspire them to join extracurricular activities
* Discuss and plan for trips home (Thanksgiving, Christmas Break, Spring Break, etc.)