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College Series: The Drive to Orientation & Meeting the Roommate - #BeThereMoments



Welcome to my College Series. As you know the kids are now out of high school and most of them are heading into college. Whether you are ready or not, your child is now an adult ready to head off to college on their own. This stage brings on a lot of feelings, all bittersweet. One can only imagine the feelings of wanting to hang on for one more day, worry over the drive to orientation alone, and how they will handle having a roommate in college. There are so many things to think about when it comes to saying farewell to your child as they head off to college. However with my tips you'll be able to master the art of "slightly letting go", as I have done. I have to admit that I haven't let go completely and I don't think that I ever completely will, but I do know that I am always there for my children, no matter what. I will be there!


The first part of letting go is when they leave the house to drive off to orientation, all by themselves. This is where the parents feelings of fear, worry and anxiety may start to develop. Remember having these feelings are completely normal and they will subside. Here are some tips for your college bound student to survive the drive to orientation:

  • Educate your college student about driving safety, such as using hands free devices and paying close attention to the road while they travel to this new place. 
  • Discuss fears that your college bound student has, without pushing your own emotions on them during this change in parent and child relationship. 
  • Ask your college student what they are thinking, what orientation options are available and how they foresee the long drive to orientation going for them. 
  • Keep an open mind and supportive mindset when talking to your child about the drive to orientation alone. 


After having an open dialogue about the drive to orientation and feeling as if your college bound student is prepared to take the drive to orientation alone, you may want to discuss more about their new college life. Prepare your child for their new roommate by discussing the following items:

  • Ask them how they feel about having a roommate in college, discuss their feelings and assure them that this will be a positive experience. 
  • Find out if they have learned who their roommate will be, in this day in age, social media may allow for them to talk to their roommate before meeting. 
  • Discuss best ways to break the ice with their roommate, such as being friendly, not appearing overly excited and to not share too much personal information right away.
  • If your college bound student is nervous about meeting a new roommate, assure them they can simply discuss dorm life and other college topics that keep them from having to overshare. 

The transition from home to college life is a huge change for everyone in the family unit; it brings about some major bittersweet feelings. What you need to know is that college life is just another chapter in both your life as a parent and their life as a child; learn to be supportive and positive as a means to allow your college bound student to grow their own set of wings to fly.

Be there, no matter where they go. Have a student headed off to college? Read more stories from parents like me on betheremoments.com. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #BeThereMoments

This post was done in collaboration with Michelin.

Annmarie John
28 Comments
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28 comments:

  1. WOW, this is great advice. My little one just turned a year old so I have some time before we get to when he leaves home from college but I can understand what you mean when you talk about letting go. I went off to college and although I have two older siblings who had already moved out, I think it still changed the family dynamic at home each time one of us left. It was exciting though to get going and out of the house, LOL.

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    1. My life was the same as well. I had 2 older brothers who had already left home by the time I started college and I think it was harder for my parents because I was the only girl.

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  2. I remember when I left for college and that was over 20 years ago!! It was such a interesting time in my life.. I Learnes so much about who I was and where I belong in this crazy world of ours. But as a mom,it's tough!

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    1. Yes it can be tough but we have to realize that we were just like them once and we have to believe that they can do it. :)

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  3. Two more years before son is off to college. We have a top 5 list of colleges we are going to visit over the next year.

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    1. That sounds exciting. My daughter had a few options and decided on the university that offered what she wanted to study that wasn't too expensive.

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  4. This is such a great series. I don't have to face this for a long time, it makes me all sorts of nervous.

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    1. Oh you'll be ok. Just think how your own parent felt when you went off to college. :)

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  5. Gosh, I remember going to college for the first time - what an incredibly time! Right now my kiddos are all 8 and under, so I can't think about watching them go off into the sunset yet, but this is great advice to keep in mind :-)

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    1. That time is going to be here before you know it. Be prepared.

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  6. Such great advice! My oldest will be 12 this year and I've recently started having thoughts about how quickly that time is coming for us. It is amazing how quickly it all goes.

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    1. Oh yes it is. I'm looking at my 4yr old and thinking to myself, wasn't she just born like yesterday?

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  7. I think this is such great advice. I think it's good to have dialogue with your child (no matter how old) and listen to them and discuss things like that with them :)

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    1. Yes it is and make sure that you're not the one making all the decisions since this is really about them.

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  8. Ooooo definitely some great advice!!!! I remember when I went off to college.... Omg....crazy times that's for sure. Thankfully I have many years before my daughter goes off to college! I can't even imagine her being that old lol....

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    1. Not that many. Before you know it, the time will come and she'll be gone and you'll wonder, where did the time go?

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  9. I remember going off to college. I was a mess. I was rooming with a friend and new girl so I don't remember being nervous about that part of it.

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    1. Oh I remember when I left as well. It was my first time being away from my family but after a while I got used to it, but it did take a while.

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  10. What an exciting time! I remember how nervous I was when my parents left after drop off! Best of luck to her!

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    1. Thank you Reesa and I was very much the same way and I know that most kids are.

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  11. The summer between high school and college was definitely a mixed bag of emotions for me. These are some great tips to help your child be ready. I especially like the suggestion of speaking about what it's like to live with a roommate.

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    1. Oh yes, because you know that sometimes you can get a terrible roommate. She however found that she just bonded with and I'm grateful for that.

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  12. Leaving for college is such a milestone in a young person's life. I drove to orientation with my parents and I want to say that the fact you mention for them to drive alone is different. I can see where it would aid in the sense of being independent and on their own. If I had to do it over again, I would definitely want to take that drive by myself.

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    1. Well that's only if your child would prefer to drive alone. I personally drove my daughter to her orientation just for the support.

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  13. These are great suggestions to help parents walk through this difficult time. Any advice for the parents to talk themselves through this? lol

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  14. It is a huge step and one which many students are ill-prepared for. For some reason many parents think that they should not say anything about it

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    1. I wonder why they would think that. If your child is heading into college, you should most certainly talk about what to expect.

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