Monday, August 20, 2012

College Advice

Today's post is on a more personal note.

In a few hours we will be dropping our oldest child off at college. It scares the living daylights out of me. He is going beyond the range of our safety net.

I hate to be cliche, but where did the time go? It really does pass in the blink of an eye.

Blink--kindergarten. Blink again--junior high. Blink--ohmyheck he's driving. And now he's out the door and on his way.

He's a great kid and I know he'll do well, but what can I say? I'm a mother. I worry.

So, as I enter this new phase of parenting, I'm open to advice.

All you parents who have done this before--what are the dos and don'ts? What worked for you? Any mistakes I should avoid?

And all you youngsters out there--what did your parents do that you appreciated? How did they help? How did they not help?

I look forward to lots of useful comments. Please... I'm desperate.

And because I'm old and feeling particularly nostalgic, here's a very sappy but true Joni Mitchell video: Circle Song


  1. It stinks when they leave for college. It's also really surprising how much less work you have to do. Even though they're the oldest and therefore usually the easiest, they leave a huge hole when they go. I advise checking in often via text and expecting short, somewhat distracted phone calls. Both our boys really loved their new independence, and therefore seemed distracted frequently when we called them to talk. I learned not to let this hurt my feelings. They didn't love me any less, just with less urgency and more distraction! :-) Be a better mom than I was and send lots of care packages. (I didn't send one to our second son, as I was too swamped with PTA and Primary president stuff.) Encourage but don't nag, and expect to panic around finals time when you call to see what he's doing during dead week, and you find out he's having a kung-foo-athon for 4 days, or watching all 7 seasons of 24 with his room mates or going ice camping on Bear Lake, or whatever else instead of studying! Keep reaching out, they still need the parents, albeit in a more detached way. Good Luck!

  2. A random $20 bill in the mail when he least expects it. Visits to stock up the dorm fridge. Loosening the ties a little at a time.

  3. I don't have any advise for you. I'm dreading the day my boys are old enough to go tot he boys scouts' camps, let alone college or the mission! Two years and you can only talk to them on the phone for Mothers' Day and Christmas? I cry just thinking about it. And the girls... I;m never leaving them out of my side!

    I'm not being any help.

    You're such a wonderful mother, I know your son will miss you tons, almost as much as you'll miss him :-)

  4. He'll be so great!! Random times when you take him out to dinner or stock up his fridge or refill his dining account money are good too.

  5. I know he will have a great time, but it must be hard for you. I like the idea of random texts (he doesn't strike me as a phone chatter) and maybe a note in the mail every once in a while. Several years ago when we were living in Blacksburg my dad sent us a note and $20 for a date night. I'd talked to him on the phone a few nights before and told him about some things we were feeling sad about. I don't remember what the particular trial was (quite small, I'm sure), but I still remember he sent us that note and money.
    I'm not sure how often he will be coming home, but maybe you could specifically invite him home once a month or so?
    Enjoy lots of time with your remaining 3 kids! Love you.