Tears, No Fears, When Saying Goodbye



There will be tears. Oh yes, there will be tears. It doesn’t matter how many times it happens, when a child goes to college, you are witnessing the beginning of one of the most transformative periods in her life. You’re also saying goodbye to the nature of the relationship you once shared. But how do you say goodbye to them making sure they have the best start at their future they could have?

Have the talk

College life is different from living at home. For a lot of kids, it means taking on all kinds of responsibility they’ve never had to deal with before. It’s a good idea to prepare them on a few topics well in advance before they move. Financial advice such as dealing with credit, budgeting and the like. What they expect it to look like dealing with living essentials. Even safety. Make the scarier sides of college less scary for them.

Know what the college has in mind

You don’t want there to be problems as soon as you arrive on campus. For instance, know fully what items the College has banned students from bringing. Get an idea of campus events and talks on the first day so you can schedule to visit them in advance. There’s a lot of helpful information there. It might not all sink into your excited teenager’s head, but you can help them retain the important stuff.

Get your logistic hat on

Don’t forget that moving can be a rather big undertaking alone. Figure out in advance whether you can do it yourself or whether you might need the help of local moving services. Make sure you have a checklist of all their essentials, including any paperwork and documentation they’ll need to actually get their place in the dorms. You can save your child a lot of hassle and you can maybe distract yourself a little from your own apprehensions about saying goodbye.

Don’t pack everyone in the car

This is a mistake so many people make. Dorm rooms are not very big. If they’re moving into a student apartment, they’re normally not very big either. There will be a lot of families in attendance, so bringing the whole gang along can make things crowded and difficult. Let some say their goodbyes back at home.

Goodbye with love

It’s going to be teary; there will be hugs; there will be promises to call that quickly fall by the wayside. It’s important you leave things on a positive note and continue to play that note through their college experience. For instance, you can leave them with a care package with all their home essentials. It’s a good idea to do this semi-regularly as time goes on and to simply check in on them to make sure they’re acclimating well. Just the gesture alone is a sign that you love them and care for them wherever they are. Just don’t let the gesture get lost by the fact you do it twenty times a week.

Once you’ve done all of the above, there’s little else you can do but there for them. Call them, ask them to call you, keep in touch and keep them talking about their experience. Becoming their rock can strengthen that relationship and help them stay strong while far from home, too.

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