• The Off-To-College Blues

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  • You won’t be there to tell them to clean their room or brush their teeth.  They’re considered adults now and the decision-making is all theirs.  Here are some survival tips for weathering the send-off:

    A new “first” for both of you.  Much like a first step or their first words, this is going to be new for both of you.  The move to college is not only nerve-wracking for you, but your kid as well.  This is the first opportunity they will make most of their decisions. After years of micro-managing, you are sending them out into the world.  You have to learn to be secure in the knowledge that you taught them right and wrong and hope to God they have the brains to remember those lessons.

    Leave their room at home intact.  Commercials and sitcoms show the empty rooms of the new college student redone or utilized for other purposes.  Don’t be tempted to do this.  Your child will need to know that when they come home for holidays or the summer, their room is exactly how they left it, stuffed animals and all.   Finally, here is your chance for the deep cleaning you were afraid to do without a hazmat suit when they were home.  

    Paranoia about safety.  See #1 above – you taught them right from wrong, survival skills.  They picked up street smarts.   Set up a system with your child for them to let you know that yes, they are still alive and healthy.  Even if it’s a “morning” text.  Don’t let the paranoia overwhelm you, which is easier said than done.  But know that millions of parents have gone through the same emotions and they survived.  Maybe a lot of alcohol? 

    Be available, but not a hover craft.   As tempting as it may be, DO NOT text/call/email/Skype your child every day.  You’re used to talking to them every day.  They are at college now, and need to concentrate on establishing themselves on campus.  They not only won’t appreciate your interference, but they will start ignoring your frantic attempts to contact them. Remember the alcohol I mentioned?  Wine is your friend now.

    The destination is more important.  This is the first step in your child’s road to being a responsible adult.  Okay, to being an adult.  Remember that.   Make it your mantra if you must.  

    All of this advice is easy to write, but I’ll let you know if it actually works next August when my own little darling starts at the University of Akron.  Ugh.

    Written by: Allyson Johns 

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