UVI Counseling Services is aware that sending a child to college can be exciting and also anxiety-ridden for parents and their children. We hope the information in guide will help make the transition as smooth as possible. Many people at the University of the Virgin Islands are working hard to make your child's educational experience a positive time for learning and personal growth.

Your son or daughter will very likely be experiencing a range of emotions as he or she leaves for college. Remember that these emotions, such as happiness, anxiety, sadness, and excitement are perfectly normal. At this stage of life, your child will face the following developmental issues:

  • Achieving a sense of competency
  • Achieving identity
  • Separation/Independence
  • Managing emotions
  • Achieving intimacy

During the college years, your child will continue the process of independence while establishing new and intimate connections with friends, faculty, and other individuals. He or she will be exposed to new ideas which may or may not lead to changes in their behavior and thinking. Many of these changes are just a normal part of growing up.

As parents, you too experience these developmental issues but from a different perspective such as:

  • Competence- trusting your child's abilities
  • Identity- redefinition of yourself; move from caretaker to mentor/advisor
  • Separation-anxiety for you
  • Management of Emotions- how to deal effectively with your anxiety
  • Intimacy-how to stay close to your child without smothering

Common First Year Student Issues:

  1. New freedom and responsibilities
  2. New and more demanding academic courses
  3. Changing relationships the family, friends, and self
  4. Challenges to belief and values

Common First Year Stressors:

  1. Higher expectations and more competition
  2. Setting boundaries with peers
  3. Roommate conflicts
  4. Maintaining appropriate level of self-care
  5. Economic uncertainty
  6. Greater diversity on campus

Many of these concerns are just a normal part of growing up. Remember, every child has their own experiences of adjusting to and dealing with the rewards and challenges of college life.