In under a month, I will be sending my oldest child off to college. I’m not sure how time flew by so quickly, but it did. It feels just like yesterday that I was watching her climb on to the bus as she headed off for her first day of Kindergarten. Now, 13 years later and she’s graduated from high school and ready for that next chapter in her life. There are all sorts of emotions that come with sending your child away to college; Anxiety, Fear, Excitement, and Hope. They are all very real and very powerful and if I were willing to bet, I’m betting that I’m not alone in experiencing these emotions. I have a feeling that most parents go through similar thoughts and feelings as they prepare to send their child off to school.
That constant feeling of is my child going to be okay? Will she get along with her roommates? What if she doesn’t get along with her roommates? Will she remember to set her alarm for that early morning class? Will she eat more than just ice cream and soda? All thoughts, along with so many more that can cause anxiety and stress as our kids prepare to leave.
College was the funnest time of my life! I am excited for my daughter to (hopefully) experience that as well. Feeling excited for them to move into their own place and experience life to the fullest. Excitement that they will get to meet new people, make new friends, and prepare for their future. Let’s be honest, excitement that we no longer have to do their laundry or clean up their messes!
That horrible nagging fear. It’s real and it can be a bit overwhelming at times. Fear of the unknown, fear of them making wrong decisions or mistakes. Fear of our children getting mixed up in the wrong crowd or failing out of school. Fear that maybe mom and dad won’t be the number one phone call every night.
Then there is hope. Hope is what keeps us sane! High hopes that they will succeed! Hope that they will have the best four years of their lives. Hope that they will make the best of friends and graduate with a degree that will help better their life and the lives of others. Hope that one day we will hear, “Thanks Mom and Dad for believing in me, loving me, and supporting me. You’re the best!”
The thing about the four emotions mentioned above is, not only are we as parents experiencing them, but our child probably is as well. Take time to talk to your college bound student. Let them know that these emotions are normal to be feeling. Help talk them through any worries or fears. Let them know that no matter what, good or bad, you love them and are cheering them on! Oh, and remind them to call and visit every once in awhile.
Mindie is married to her best friend, is a mom to three kids, and is a fashion and lifestyle blogger over at www.astylishcloset.com . She enjoys shopping, reading, and traveling.