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Answers to Your College Questions

Harlan Cohen

Harlan Cohen

Harlan Cohen is the author of The Naked Roommate series of books and is one of the most widely read and respected syndicated advice columnists for people in their teens and twenties. His column, "Help Me, Harlan!," is distributed by King Features Syndicate. Harlan regularly tours high school and college campuses giving presentations to students, professionals, and parents. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Follow Harlan on Twitter @HarlanCohen.


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Posted by on in New College Parent

Yes. According to the Higher Education Research Institute, 61 percent of college students reported feeling some sort of homesickness. That’s a lot of homesick students. This number is big, and it’s gotten bigger over the past several years. Forget the flu—homesickness the first year of college is an epidemic. If your kid isn’t getting homesick, he or she is in the minority.

Knowing that homesickness is normal should better prepare you for when your child calls or expresses feelings of homesickness. Instead of being shocked, panicking, or trying to convince your child that he or she isn’t really homesick, you can listen and think, “My son loves home so much it’s making him sick. Oh, isn’t that wonderful.” Or, “My daughter loves home so much it’s making her sick. Oh, isn’t that wonderful.” No, it’s not really wonderful, but knowing it’s normal can help you be a better listener and help cure the sickness.

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Tagged in: College Life Homesick
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Posted by on in College

Sorority Rush Overview

Typically, rush is called “formal rush” because it’s a highly organized process lasting several weeks. Each institution has its own way of conducting rush, but this can give you a general idea of how it works.

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Posted by on in College

first-yearThe truth is that you might not find your place right away when you start college. It takes work and time.

Everyone seems to forget to mention this to you. Finding your place is so important—because if you have no place, you’ll end up lost, and if you’re lost with no place, there isn’t anywhere to go, and that’s when you will want to go home.

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Tagged in: College Life
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Posted by on in College

At all costs, live in the dorm your freshman year!

Residence halls, dormitories, dorms, campus housing—whatever you call it, these are the places most new students who live on campus call home. They are long halls filled with hundreds of mostly clueless people on a common journey. It’s like a cruise, but without the swimming pools, room service, spa, casino, alcoholic drinks, ports of call, free midnight buffets, fine dining, all the water, and the boat. See, exactly like a cruise.

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Tagged in: College Life Dorms
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Posted by on in New College Parent

shockedparent250

If you’re already your kid’s Facebook friend, you know it can be complicated at times. Being a friend to your child means seeing, hearing, and knowing more than you might want to see, hear, or know. When it comes to sending a request, it’s not like there’s an option to be your child’s “Facebook parent.” The only option is to be a “friend.” So before you consider sending that friend request to your son or daughter, make sure you know what you’re getting into. As a rule, NEVER publicly humiliate your child on Facebook—not cool.

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Tagged in: Facebook
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