I can’t believe this adorable curled-haired boy is off to college already! I’ve spent the last week reflecting on his life and wondering, as his mother, if I have taught him everything he needs to know. It’s interesting when life hands you change, you turn around and look back. If you’re like me, you will look back and hope each in-between moment, along with the big moments, has taught your child enough. I’m swimming in all of these emotions and reflections right now. The one major thing I am grateful for is PHOTOS and the memory keeping I have done thus far. I’m fortunate that I can continue documenting these moments for my son, photos of his dorm, campus, our road trip to get to college, etc. I know I’m not the only parent saying goodbye to their college student, so I put together a small list of Do’s and Don’ts to dropping your child off at college.
Don’t Micromanage the Event – Let your son/daughter check themselves in, pick up their keys, get their student ID, etc. Don’t earn the “helicopter” label as a parent by micromanaging every aspect of move-in day.
Don’t Make Introductions for Your Child – There are many new people to meet and names to remember. Let your son/daughter do the talking. You are there to support, not to speak for your child.
Do Keep the Focus on Them – You only get one freshman year of college, so let your child have the spotlight! It’s all about them and how they want to start this new chapter in their life. Let them make the decisions and guide how it will play out – show them you trust their intuition.
Do Be Kind to Yourself – This is a significant change for everyone in your family. Be kind and gentle with the emotions that arise. It might feel like a wave of excitement and sadness all at once, and that’s okay. Don’t judge yourself for what comes up. Feel it, release it, and move forward. Remember – you are not completely letting go. You are simply shifting your role as a parent.
Do Take Lots of Photos – Photos are great way to help your son/daughter’s dorm feel more like home. Print out old photos and don’t forget to take new photos. Document the entire experience and journal your thoughts as each day passes.