How a semester can change a college freshman

Abilene

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Over the next couple of weeks across the country, many college students like sophomore Malik Collins will be traveling back to where they grew up.  

“Sometimes I feel like I can’t go anywhere still just because I feel like I have to ask somebody,” he said.  

Many had just been home for the Thanksgiving holiday, but McMurry psychology professor Greg Schneller said there are some changes that you may have yet to notice.  

“It’s easy to hold things together for a short period of time, but maybe as you get into a three-to-four-week break, now we’ve got the possibility of arguments, tension showing up,” he said.  

With just one semester under their belt, you may ask, what would be the problem? 

“They may come home with a greater sense of independence, wanting to make their own decisions, their own schedule. Where it wasn’t that way a few months ago when they were in high school,” Schneller said.  

Senior Carlos Martinez said he went through this his freshman year.  

“Mostly things like, ‘Pick up my room.’ I don’t have anyone here telling me you have to clean up your room,” he said.  

Or it could be the exact opposite.  

“Sometimes kids come home wanting things to be the way things used to be. You know they want to kind of be babied a little bit. ‘I’ve been making my own decisions and living independently, now I’m home and I want to have a chance to lay around, be fed, you know, be kind of taken care of,'” Schneller says.

Either way, Schneller said business as usual attitude can be detrimental when students are still trying to figure out how to balance this new freedom.  

“College students don’t necessarily feel real at home anymore, but they also don’t feel home at school, and that’s just part of that identity formation. ‘Where is my home,’” he said.  

So, as parents and students start to negotiate these new roles, tension should be expected, but the communication should never stop.  

“And also, just understanding sometimes parents, as well as kids need to say, ‘I’m sorry, I overreacted, will you forgive me, and can we work this through,'” he said.  

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