We spent a huge chunk of our ☀️summer figuring out decorations for a dorm. Our spare bedroom became Ground Zero for 📦boxes, blankets, and wall art. We bought a new set of everything from the 💊medicine cabinet and fresh towels. College life isn’t about new pencils and a 🎒backpack, although those were on our list. We had many things to purchase and discuss before dropping our youngest daughter off for her freshman year. Those summer months flew by! Now, it’s a transition time for this new chapter.
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way to make that transition easier from having older kids head off to college:
📌Figure out a communication plan. You’ve had schedules that meshed forever. That’s about to change. Texts in the middle of the night. Phone calls when you can’t answer. Too much time between chats. It’ll be a dance for a bit, but you’ll figure it out. I like for my kids to turn on Read Receipts for my number. They may not be able to respond right then, but at least I know they read my words.
📌Don’t be shocked. Your kid is about to say some things you might not expect. I don’t mean that it’s going to be something horrible. It’ll just be different from what you are used to hearing. Listen to the stories without judgment. Your reaction will dictate future responses. Do you want your kid to share or shut up?
📌Class lectures and new experiences will broaden their horizons. Some of that may rub up against your beliefs. Some may not. Be open to hearing about their learning. Ask questions. Let your kid bring something new to you for a change. You never know- you might find that you agree with a few of these new ideas, too.
📌Your kid may have seemed somewhat self-sufficient before, but college will bring this to another level. They will surprise you with the things they can handle on their own. They’ve been watching all those years. They learned a thing or two.
📌You’ll still worry. It’s part of the parenting job. And, it’s actually kind of beautiful when you think about it. The idea that you love someone so much that you care about their safety and well-being even when you’re not with them. Want to know a secret? They feel the same way about you!
It’s a time of adjustment, for sure. It’s a time of change. It’s a time of growth. But, it’s also a time to be grateful for the connection you built.💖