Sending your student off to college can be emotional. You’re probably not taking pictures of them in new school clothes with little signs indicating their year in school. But as with all new beginnings, we have hopes, dreams and expectations for this time. This year’s unique challenges may bring a little more worry and trepidation. That is to be expected. While we can’t promise an easy semester, Wofford College’s Counseling Services has suggestions for parents to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Be informed

Follow Wofford’s social media accounts and check emails for the latest information from the college. The Wofford Together website has details about the college’s plans and expectations of the campus community. will have campus updates and answers to frequently asked questions. This is also where you can find positive COVID-19 results for people who have been on campus by month.

Pay attention to signs of struggle in your student. The isolation and challenges of this time could lead to more strain and stress. Encourage students to seek help, on campus or off, if they need additional support. The college’s Mental Health Assistance Line is available 24/7 as a resource at 864-597-4393.

Also, notice signs of struggle in you. Getting the help you need allows you to better support your student and sets a good example.


This semester, communication is going to be more important than ever, as everyone makes adjustments to the needs of an ever-changing situation. Talk with your student about their priorities, concerns and plans for this semester. Refrain from giving them solutions. Instead, check in to better understand what they are hoping to accomplish.

Communicate your concerns and expectations too. These conversations help young adults consider things they might not think about when planning.

Be flexible

Make plans … and backup plans. Don’t be afraid to talk through tentative options for situations, regardless of their likelihood.

Expect the unexpected. Most of us have experienced this in many ways over the past several months. The return to campus does not mean things are returning to “normal,” but rather that we continue to pursue our goals during the COVID challenge. Some traditions will be delayed or done in new ways. This is a time to understand that we may have to let go of some things for the greater good of our community. Letting go is hard but not as hard as clinging to things that can’t remain.

Be compassionate

Be compassionate with yourself and your student. Work to understand the added stress and disappointment that accompanies some of the options for college this year.

Student schedules may be especially challenging as they are juggling classes that may be remote, a hybrid version or in-person. In addition, they will be involved in socially distant activities. Even students who are normally time management superstars may struggle to find balance. Listen and empathize. Only offer solutions when asked. While some constructive feedback is necessary at times, be cautious about criticizing students as they try to respond to new problems. Sometimes messing up and making mistakes is a necessary part of finding effective solutions.

Encourage your student to prioritize self-care and set the example by taking good care of yourself.

Be creative

Since the usual opportunities to enjoy campus with your student may be limited this fall, plan to get creative. Think of ways to learn more about the campus or share in important milestones remotely.

These are just a few suggestions. In the end, we encourage parents to do the best they can. We appreciate you as members of our extended Wofford community and look forward to working together to make this a good year!

The Counseling Services staff,
Kellie Buckner, Perry Henson, Beth Wallace and Tiara Woney