Prior to the day your student heads off to college, it’s important to have some conversations to explore the expectations and assumptions you and your student have regarding various aspects of the college experience.
These discussions may include your expectations regarding grades and financial obligations as well as renegotiating family relationships and house rules as your student gains more experience as an independent decision maker.
You may also find it helpful to clarify your assumptions about the sorts of social choices your student will face in the college environment, including drugs, alcohol, religion and sexuality. This also is a good time to demonstrate your desire to emotionally support your student and to act as a sounding board should she or he need a caring ear.
Finally, the weeks before your student heads off to his or her new environment is a good time to talk specifically about that environment—particularly the living situation—and help your student recognize the advantages and avoid the pitfalls of living with a roommate.