Summer with Your College Student

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Anne Weeks
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Make the most of summer with your returning college student with these tips from University Parent (as told by ABC’s Modern Family):

  • Refresh

    Put new sheets in their bedroom and add some nice touches, such as their favorite snack and small gift certificates, such as a pass to the movies.

haleys room

  • Schedules 

    Put everyone’s schedule on a family calendar in the kitchen. This will help you know when there are days or afternoons free for everyone to hit the beach or go for a hike.

modern family calendar family schedule

  • Surprise

    Surprise your student with a trip to someplace you always planned to go but never had the time.


  • Gardening

    Plant an herb garden in portable pots, and give your student one to take back to college in the fall, so they will have something fresh for cooking.

modern family gardening

  • Cooking

    Find time to cook together and encourage your student to keep a record of recipes that work. Maybe start a New York Times Recipe Box together.


  • Challenge

    Start a new challenge together – learn to kayak or paddleboard, or train for a 5k.


  • Family Photo

    Don’t forget to get that family photo to use on the year’s holiday card.




Of course, don’t forget the more mundane!


  • Let Them Sleep

    When your student first arrives home, they will be exhausted. Let them sleep!

modern family haley 10 hours of sleep

  • Job

    Summer jobs and internships are good to keep the student occupied, but they are also essential for building a resume.


  • Be Patient with Change

    Your student has gained independence in college, so expect change in behaviors and expectations. Be patient and celebrate the maturity you see.


  • Discuss House Rules

    You may decide to alter house rules to match your student’s independence. Have a collaborative conversation early on about rules and expectations.

  • Discuss Family Time

    Independence is fine, but also discuss your expectations for family time. Be prepared to give and take!



Summer is a time for a change of pace and time to spend with family. Embrace the time you have with your college student, as these will be the last years of family time before your student launches into the real word.


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Anne Weeks

Anne Macleod Weeks is a graduate of Lawrence and Villanova Universities. She has been an educational administrator and English teacher for 38 years, specializing in the area of college admission. Ms. Weeks has been a leader in the college admission and Advanced Placement arenas and has published on pertinent educational topics in a variety of national papers and journals. She currently resides in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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