We’re still getting used to our students being gone when suddenly it’s time to prepare for their first visit home.
I use that word intentionally — it is a “visit.” Home will always be home, but at some point during the first year of college, the center of a student’s universe shifts. We see this even more clearly with our older students.
Though we understand it’s supposed to happen that way, it can still be hard to accept. We’re glad our students have new friends, new dreams, new opportunities, but that doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes feel wistful and a little bit sad.
Not every student is in a hurry to fly the coop. It varies, and you know if you have a homebody or an adventurer.
Still, even as early as freshman year, many students make plans for long weekends and spring break that don’t involve coming home. January term internships and summer jobs lure them to other locales.
When time at home is a rare commodity, look for ways to make the most of it. Here are some tips!
This might be your students’ first visit home since the start of the school year. Stories may spill out right away, or it could take a few days for them to open up.
Once students have caught up on sleep, they might take off with old (or new) pals. In the time you do have together:
Students who come home for spring break often just want to flop around playing video games or reading for fun. R&R should be the top priority; the rest of the semester will be intense.
But spring break week is also a perfect chance to tackle, in a low-key way, one or two of the practical life skills that will come in handy sooner or later:
Of course, during every visit home, make time for a family dinner or movie night, a quiet walk, a coffee date. It’s okay to remind them that you cherish their company now more than ever.
Other recent articles by Diane Schwemm:
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