Tips for Supporting Your New College Student

Having a child move into college can be a daunting but extremely exciting moment. College is the time when your child starts to understand how to be on their own, which can be difficult and exciting for a parent. How do you provide the right amount of support for your child while also offering opportunities to grow and change? Here are a few ways you can support the new college student in your family.

1. Be Invested in Their Experiences

The first thing you want to do is show that you’re really invested in the experiences they’re going through. College is a completely different experience from high school, and those experiences can be both good and bad. It’s important that you show your child that you really care; when they tell you about what happened at one of their classes, actively listen and respond.

2. Care About Their Future Career

Most people go to college because they want to open up additional career paths in the future. It’s probable that your child has an ideal career in mind after they graduate. Talk to your child about that ideal career path and check in every so often to see how they’ve been able to continue to pursue their career goals. This way, you’ll showcase that you genuinely care about your child’s hopes and dreams.

3. Provide Understanding When Things Don’t Go As Planned

In life, sometimes things won’t quite go as planned. This is a natural part of life, but it’s also a very frustrating and upsetting part of life, which means it can be hard for young adults to adapt to it. Chances are, your child will need you to lean back on when something goes wrong at some point. It could be something very small, like getting a C on a test instead of an A, or it could be very significant, like breaking up with a long-term partner. If you’re willing to be understanding and care about your child’s well-being, you’ll grow closer to them.

4. Stay Available Whenever Possible

You don’t have to be available 24/7, especially if you have something like a demanding job or an otherwise difficult to manage schedule. However, it’s important to be available for your child whenever you can. If your child is having a difficult time, you want them to feel like they can reach out, even if it’s to you. Actively communicate that you can be available when your child needs you, so they’ll be more likely to reach out.

5. Offer Resources When You Come Across Them

One of the best ways you can express your support for your child is in passive ways. For example, when you come across a useful resource like OneClass livestreams, you can text or email your child a link to this resource and tell them the resource made you think of them. It’s something that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort to do, but it can make a very significant impact. Not only can it provide valuable information, but it can also make your child realize you think about them regularly.


Supporting a college student isn’t necessarily easy; in fact, it can be difficult if you try to do it in exactly the same way you supported your child as a high school student. The key is to make sure you don’t just do it in this way. Whether you’re sending your child links to high-quality resources like OneClass or you’re just providing a listening ear, a little goes a long way.