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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Sibling Suggestions

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When a Sibling Goes to College

A college bound student has many transitions to navigate including adjusting to college life, succeeding academically, and making new friends coupled with balancing their need for connection to family and their new found independence. Siblings of college bound students face adjustments as well.      


Teenage siblings can become close; sharing interests and activities, having similar tastes in music and television shows, and negotiating the sharing of household space.

Colleges and universities have seemingly endless resources for students entering college.  However, other family members - younger siblings - are often ignored during this potentially huge upheaval, even though their own separation anxiety can be intense.



Below are some suggestions to help siblings adjust to the college transition:

  • Carve out a special time just for siblings.

    • Give your kids a few dollars and let them go out together (no adults allowed) to celebrate this transition period in their lives.
  • Be sure to show just as much excitement about the younger childs activities, as you do your college bound students new experience.

    • Take the younger sibling out shopping seperately for school supplies/clothes and attend any pre-school year functions for the younger sibling.
  • Stay in touch.

    • Encourage siblings to send text messages, e-mails, phone calls, etc to share their lives with one another.  If you send care packages, be sure to include notes from younger siblings.  

  • Visit campus.

    • Take the younger sibling to MSU to spend the night or the weekend (please check with your student's roommate first).  Family Weekend is the great time to visit Minnesota State.