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 them to talk to their roommate before meeting.
- Discuss the best ways to break the ice with their roommate, such as being friendly, not appearing overly excited and 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.