Save their space. Don't reclaim your child's bedroom as your exercise room right away, said Groves.

Give them some space. Never call before noon on weekends, pay a surprise visit or act as your child's alarm clock. Your job is to be supportive, said Ward, and to teach your child to solve his or her own problems.

Don't be a dumping ground. Some students get in the pattern of calling home to complain, said Denise Ward, Associate Dean for Student Services at Macalester College. "I've heard students who unburden themselves and then get on with their day. I imagine their mothers feeling miserable, thinking their child is in trouble. The student never calls back to say it worked out."


Stay on campus for the first month. You need at least that long to form new friendships and figure out the rhythm of your schedule, advised Grove.

Keep connected to your family. You don't need to bum a ride home. Skype, FaceTime and other face-to-face methods of connecting over the Internet can be reassuring,

Make new friends. You need to make a break with your high school friends. Ward recommends limiting the time you spend texting with them or on Facebook. "Get out from behind the screen and solidify new relationships," she said.