Take a deep breath. The day has come, college move in day. It is a big moment in your child’s life, but also yours. Your student is excited about freedom, friends, and less class time than high school (okay other important academic interests as well). You’re nervous. You won’t be around to help them with their
college move in day problems, to ensure they are well-fed, to double-check they remember to study for an important test, to mandate a curfew, or to share a Friday movie night.
It can be hard letting go. It’s a cliche, but true phrase. It is completely natural to worry for your child–isn’t that part of parent DNA? Take a moment to appreciate the day, however. Your child has worked hard and earned the privilege to attend college, live in a dorm, and work their way toward a degree to lead a promising life.
Let’s not forget your part in that. Take pride in the work you put in to help them achieve this milestone. You helped them choose challenging classes, helped them with their homework, searched for a tutor when you were no longer of help, drove them to college visits, asked the questions they were too embarrassed to ask themselves, proofread their admission essay, paid the admission and acceptance fee, made them write a packing list, and drove them to their dorm to drop them off. Yes, they deserve to celebrate this moment. So do you.
Try to relieve some of your fears. Accept that they are equipped for this. They will make friends. They’ll learn from their mistakes. Ramen will be consumed too often, but they will also use their rec pass. Memories will be made at 3 A.M. They’ll have a semi crisis of what they want to do with their life. Then, they’ll call you. A professor will have a meaningful impact that leads them to excitedly choose their major. Then, they’ll call you. Trust us, they won’t forget you. You’ll still be their support system, their phone call after important milestones.
They want to make you proud. Maybe they won’t call home too often, because they don’t want you to know they’re homesick. They want you to think nothing could be better. They’ll secretly love when you call at 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night, interrupt their study session, and give them updates on their siblings and beloved pet. Don’t be afraid to ask if they want to visit home, they’ll know what the best answer is. They will come home, don’t worry. Whether it’s a surprise weekend trip or the traditional Thanksgiving break, you’ll see them. They’ll have wonderful stories to tell about football games, interesting classes, and the struggles they have overcome.
Remember this on move in day. It might be sad to let them go, not knowing when you’ll see them next, but you’ve done your job. You raised your child well and they are ready for their own adventure. Embrace the day as a wonderful opportunity. Enjoy the time spent together, even if it is waiting in line for the elevator. Don’t be afraid to overwhelm your child with hugs, however. They’ll pretend to hate it but secretly appreciate it.
Good luck and enjoy! College move in day is an exciting time.