UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

First Year Family Blog

Adjusting to Your College Student Being Home for the Summer

A family taking a picture together under a tree

According to the Pew Research Center, it has become increasingly more common over the last decade for young adults to live with family members and/or parents longer. It is also common for college students to return home for the summer months after their first year of college. Whether your student is attending college nearby or far away, getting back into the swing of things together in the summer months may be an adjustment for your family. Below are a few points to keep in mind and to consider to help your family readjust when your college student returns home.

  1. Negotiate boundaries and expectations. Just like when your student left for college, being clear with expectations is important to make sure everyone is on the same page. Communication is key. With your student living back at home, it will probably be very easy to fall back into old routines. Depending on your student and your family dynamic, this may or may not cause some tension. Remember, your students has been living as an independent adult for the last 8 months. They are used to fending for themselves and not needing to adhere to a curfew. Acknowledging this will be important for the both you and your student to have a productive conversation about expectations.
     
  2. Practice patience. Whether you like it or not, the old habits that drove you nuts before your student left are probably still going to annoy you, and vice versa. Try to be patient with each other, and remember that your time together at home is only for a few short months. This does not, however, excuse your student from helping with the dishes or mowing the lawn. It’s all about balance.
     
  3. Establish a realistic schedule. Try not to overbook your student’s free time. Odds are they may have their own plans in the works between seeing old friends, working their summer job, and enjoying new hobbies. Remember they are becoming an independent adult, and they’re getting used to stretching their wings and planning their own adventures. Be open and communicate with them early about family or special events.

As the semester is ending, we hope these points offer a helpful perspective. Your student has had a long year full of changes, stress, and new adventures. With this in mind, the summer will be a good time for them to relax, work, and connect with old friends and loved ones.