Surviving the Transition to College

Transition from high school and home to college and a dorm can be challenging.

From the last part of August through the middle of September, college campuses around the country are welcoming students to the 2010-2011 school year. For most, it's a time of excitement and adventure, but for many, especially those who are attending college classes for the first time, it can be scary.

It is also particularly a difficult time of transition for parents sending first-year students “out of the nest.” Some tips come from Bryant University psychology professor Laurie Hazard, is also a first-year transition expert. She says letting go may be the hardest part of the experience for parents, but it's also the most important and helpful thing they can do.

When your student does call home with a problem, she says, resist the temptation to solve it for them.

She adds that for new students, a key to making a successful transition is asking for help, which can sometimes require the student to ditch their teenage mentality.

Hazard indicates that college represents an important shift when students must become responsible for managing their own time and tasks; taking a “hands-off” approach as parents can help that transition go more smoothly.