Is your kid going away to college? It’s getting close, isn’t it? That back-to-school time of year when you’re watching all the school supplies go on sale, feeling the frenzy of finishing all the last minute summer to-do bucket lists and wondering how you’re going to get your kids up and ready for that early morning class….
Or wait. Maybe not. Maybe this is the year that your kid is going away to college, and instead of anticipating that photo-in-front-of-the-door and watching them load the bus or ride their bike down the street, you’re full of anxiety about the unknown – about how your life will be different once your kid is out of the house and safely settled into their new dorm room.
I know exactly how you feel.
My girl started college three years ago, and I still shed a few tears about what used to be. I still wonder if I can take her back-to-school shopping (Amazon Prime is my new best friend), and instead of snapping a photo on the front step, I’m getting Snapchats as she and her brother have one last summer adventure backpacking together in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.
One thing that has really helped me struggle through these college years is all the connections I’ve made with other moms who are either going through it or have come out the other side. I’ve shared my emotions all over my blog, I’ve read them in Listen To Your Mother and on the Huffington Post, and this year, I thought I’d put them all together for the new moms who are navigating this new territory right now.
Is Your Kid Going Away To College? You might like these posts:
- I wrote about choosing a college in my 2013 post about taking college tours through Oregon and Washington. Funny – she didn’t end up in either of those states!
- In 2014, I had no idea what to say to her as she left for college, so I wrote one of my most popular posts, Letter To My College-Bound Daughter. Maybe this will give you some ideas on what to say to your own kid!
- After I dropped her off at college 650 miles away from home, I couldn’t get the words of the convocation out of my mind. I realized that what I really wanted for her was to learn to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, and my thoughts turned into a post I shared on Listen To Your Mother. And I even read it without crying!
- In 2015, I wrote another letter – but this time, it was to Parents Leaving Their Kids At College. It seemed to me that for the second year, the kids had it under control – it was the parents who had no idea how sophomore year would be different!
- Shortly after the parent letter, I wrote about how absolutely emotional it was leaving her at college the second year – knowing she had her own house and was feeling overwhelmed with installing curtain rods and COSTCO shopping. I’ll admit I felt a little ridiculous tearing up, since I had already done this once before, but I still sobbed into the sunrise as I drove home.
This August is different, too. I’m working on a ‘leaving her the third year’ kind of post, but what I’m noticing is that it’s not so much leaving her at college that’s freaking me out this year, but her leaving home for good – it feels like she’s really so much more on her own now, and not ever going to be living her again.
So just remember, I’m here for you. I don’t have all the answers, but I can listen and offer some advice. All WILL be well. They WILL be Ok. You WILL miss them, but they will miss you, too.
Hang in there, mama. This is what you’ve prepared them for!