No matter how far away students go to college, parents generally stay connected and want to ensure their student's well-being and safety. It is important that parents stay in touch with their college students and be aware of signs of difficulty adjusting to college life and of potential stressors related to this very important transition. Possible indicators of distress and difficulties with college are listed below:

 
1. An expressed need for help
2. Prolonged sadness or depressed mood
3. Tearfulness, crying, and frequent emotional outbursts
4. Excessive irritability, hostility, anger, or resentment
5. Loss of interest and pleasure in activities once enjoyed
6. Withdrawal from social interactions
7. Statements of loneliness
8. Difficulty developing a social network on campus
9. Loss of energy and fatigue
10. Agitation and restlessness
11. Changes in sleep patterns
12. Trouble concentrating or making decisions
13. Missing class often
14. Falling behind in schoolwork or failing classes
15. Substantial changes in appetite, eating patterns, or weight
16. Feeling of guilt, hopelessness, or worthlessness
17. Risk taking behaviors, such as unprotected sex
18. Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
19. Hopelessness
20. Thoughts or statements of death or suicide
 
Speak to your student if you see any significant changes in emotions, behaviors, or social activities. If you notice a number of the risk indicators in your college student, you and your student are encouraged to seek professional help. You can also encourage your student to speak to university staff, residence hall staff, or the counseling center.