My kid went to University in August and started falling apart. How the hell it happened in the blink of an eye is beyond me considering I think I have a good grasp on my kids normally. But this turn of events came out of nowhere and it was heartbreaking – for him and for me.
So in case you’re having similar problems, I thought I’d tell you what helped us. While getting him help through the university wasn’t easy, some compassionate people were really helpful to me. But the university has rules that they can’t break which as a parent is very frustrating.
For example, I called the Counseling Center. As a parent who’s asking for help for her kid who’s homesick, not eating and sad, you’d think I’d be met with kindness and consideration. Instead, I was told firmly to have the kid call to make an appointment. So I pushed it and gave the person his name and symptoms so that they would have a heads up when he called. What kid is going to voluntarily call the Counseling Center? Well, luckily, mine agreed and did it. Yes, that helped a little.
Then I tried to get in touch with his Resident Advisor (RA – a mentor older student who lives on the same floor and is supposedly loosely in charge of the freshman students). That was a bust. I ended up calling the Housing Dept. to ask for a message to be sent to the RA on his floor to help him to maybe connect with others. But when I went up a few days later for a visit, we saw the RA, but he didn’t even recognize my kid. Now granted, it was probably because my kid wasn’t leaving his room often except for classes, but still….
So then I called the Dean of Students. I figured I had to go to the top. It was a good experience and he made an appointment with my kid and got him a little more involved with the school. That helped.
But as a single Mom of a homesick college kid, it’s not easy. My former husband, his father, is negligent in reaching out to our kid. Even though I reached out to him to keep him in the loop, he had no compassion for a sick kid, nor one that was homesick. Unfortunately, he doesn’t communicate with the kids anymore unless it suits him. And dealing with feelings doesn’t suit his perfect persona. (more on that at another time).
I’m happy to report things have improved a wee bit here. Any signs of improvement, I consider a small triumph. He joined a club which helps. He’s sharing notes with someone in one of his classes. The roommate is nice, but he’s got his own friends, but at least they ate dinner together the other night. Baby steps. That’s all I’m asking for him to succeed. So far, fingers crossed…getting better.
I hope that this helps you if you’re dealing with a homesick freshman or transfer student at university.