Surviving Your Teen’s Freshman Year of College

I just love this topic because I’ve been there and made some very embarrassing faux pas during my daughter’s freshman year of college. She and I still laugh about some of these missteps. My daughter remembers when I sent a jar of peanut butter to her at college via overnight mail. The funny thing was that the postage cost more than the peanut butter. And, there were stores near her college. She certainly was not in the middle of nowhere. I will tell you one more personal story. How about when I sent my daughter multiple pairs of gloves so that her hands wouldn’t get cold? I always managed to slip a new pair of warm gloves into every package that I sent her. And, she wasn’t even going to school in a particularly cold area. She probably owned more pairs of gloves than most large families. Guess, I was just trying my best to be a nurturing mama in my own silly way. Despite and because of my own faux pas I have some tips for other parents of college freshmen. Read on for my advice…

1. Remember that your teens are going to college, not off to a deserted place with no access to resources.

2. Resist the temptation to text them excessively, which would be multiple times per day. Let them take the lead here. You will eventually fall into a groove and frequency that works for everyone.

3. Do not ask your college freshman if he or she misses you. You want your child to feel good about feeling comfortable in a new environment, right? And, if they are not missing you constantly, then consider that a good rather than a bad sign.

4. There is absolutely no need to send rolls of quarters for the washing machine and dryer. Yep, some parents do send rolls of coins. Your college kids need to learn to do their laundry on their own. They will surprise you with their competence.

5. Remember that they still need you and your love, just in a different and lower key way. Sometimes, though, less is more.


6. If your college freshman contacts you and tells you that she had a bad day, that is usually not a cause for alarm. There is probably no reason to stay up all night and worry. My experience is that I would stay up all night and worry, but my daughter would usually forget what she was upset about the next day. So, if your college freshman is upset do NOT rush into your car with a plan to rescue her. Wait for the next message instead. You are most likely going to feel relieved.

Good luck! This certainly isn’t an easy time.