May 16, 2023

For college Freshmen who did not enjoy their first semester, not returning for the spring semester is an all-too-real situation. Whether they have withdrawn from their classes without any timeline of returning, or requested a medical leave for the spring semester, everyone is now
staring down the barrel of eight months of unstructured time. For the parents who were excited to help their young person launch, this return to the nest so soon can feel like a reflection on your parenting. Returning to the nest is not a failure. Not having a plan for them when while their peers are returning to school, now that’s where the issue lies.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

As a parent, it is no longer your duty to care for your legal-aged adult. If you don’t want them to be in your home, you can set that boundary. It may come off as heartless, but if that’s your interpretation, you are missing the point. The point is to express the importance that parents
have control over who they feel financially responsible for. In agreeing to support them not returning to college, your young adult will feel validated. For whatever their reasoning (academically too stressful, didn’t make friends, etc.), they did not feel comfortable going back.
Okay! That’s totally normal. Where you need to be on your game, is to let them know if they don’t go back, they cannot stay with you. Ask them what their plan is. If they don’t have a plan, help them create one.

If you want a basement dweller, then disregard all the advice and options listed above. If you don’t take this seriously, you will blink and have a 40-year-old-toddler still living in your home. Sound terrifying? I hope so! You do not have to be a parent again if you don’t want to. Help
your young adult immediately relaunch after they’ve tried to return home. Make home less comfortable so they don’t want to stay!

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