Just took my daughter to college

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Just took my daughter to college
By Fredo (Fredo) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 01:21 am: Edit

Well, after all these months (years?) of planning, applying, agonizing, deciding and preparing, it's all done - we drove my daughter to college today.

We packed up the cars (!) with an assortment of stuff: comforter, egg crate, mattress pad, 2 sets of sheets and towels, refrigerator, computer, printer, bed risers (didn't need), full length mirror (didn't need), desk lamp (didn't need - see a trend here?), couple of odd plates/bowls/cups, floor lamp, over the door shoe rack, pictures, start-up food (pretzels, oreos, ramen noodles and dr. pepper), school supplies, initial set of clothes, etc., etc.

My daughter went a week early before the official orientation so it was pretty quiet on campus - she's the only one so far on her wing of her dorm. I wanted to get there nice and early because I thought we'd need plenty of time to configure the room - and I was right. (Her roommate doesn't arrive till next week so she's on her own till then). It took quite a while to figure out bunk beds vs loft beds vs both on the floor. I suggest allowing some time, if you can, for that. Everyone has their own opinion and husbands and sons don't generally have the patience for furniture arranging necessary in these circumstances!

Realized we need to flip the refrigerator door. That took hubby and son well over an hour. When son took floor lamp out of box he got little styrofoam pieces EVERYWHERE. No vacuum in sight. That meant a trip to Walmart for a little electric upright (and the batteries we couldn't find in the various boxes).

Daughter and I went to a very boring intro session while hubby and son STILL worked on fridge and fretted over missing final round of PGA tourney. Came back and after long, tiring day of carting a lot of stuff up three flights of stairs, walking back and forth all over campus, working on fridge for a very long time, listening to an incredibly boring info session, came time for us to leave.

I felt so sorry for my daugher - as this pre-orientation program meant she was on her own for dinner not knowing a soul. No roommate, nobody on her hall. But she was ready for us to leave so we did. I must confess I called her tonight and she told me she couldn't bring herself to eat dinner in the union all by herself so she didn't. She did go to the opening ice cream social but that was hard for her. She met one other girl there and they went to Walmart. I'll count that as a small opening day victory and hope that every day gets better for her.

Amazingly, there were just a few tears when it came time to say goodbye. The simple fact of the matter is that it IS time for both of us: time for her to go and time for me to let her go. Luckily, she isn't far away and we'll even go back next weekend for the real parent orientation. By then they'll be plenty of kids around - all in the same boat: brand new, scared, anxious, and looking to meet lots of new people.

It was actually some-what anti-climatic. There was such a build up to the final day and in reality it wasn't bad. I was afraid I'd be crying the whole way home and I didn't. May have been helped by the fact that we actually listened to the final round of the PGA on the radio - did you know that ESPN radio actually broadcasts those things???

May all your goodbyes be good ones with only tears of joy and happiness.

P.S. If you're going to flip a refrigerator door, you better have a wrench!

By Mini (Mini) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 01:27 am: Edit

Congrats!!! You are the first to report. I can't honestly say that I'm looking forward to the experience -- I'm still trying to remember what it was like for me to away for the first time.

Sigh. (there will be many more sighs over the next two weeks....)

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 01:49 am: Edit

Fredo, thanks for that. You were the first on here. I have about two weeks to go. This is nuts but I am teary eyed reading YOUR report, oh no! Still, I agree it is such an exciting time for these kids!

My daughter came home from a friend's house tonight and she said it hit her that she was really leaving because tomorrow night she is going to a surprise party for another friend's 18 th birthday and she realizes that is the last time she will see most of her home peers as we are leaving on vacation and they will all be leaving for college while we are away, except the ones going to our state university. When we get back from vacation, she has a few days to pack up and get ready and then she too will be off. She said it finally seems like the real thing to think she will not see any of these people til Thanksgiving.

In the last few days, it is hitting me too. Here I am registering for dance classes for only one daughter, not two as usual. Lined up only one daughter's piano lesson time slot, not the other one's! Teaching second daughter to drive now and older D's car that we let her use the past two years will now be for this child. And on it goes.

How come your daughter is there before the other kids? Are there many other freshmen there now? Where is she going to school?

I actually STILL recall the moments after my parents left me off at college my first year. I admit, I was never homesick (had gone away every summer for ten yrs. of my childhood) and was ready for college and not scared or anything. I did not know anyone at my college when I arrived. I had an older brother in the same city at law school. After my parents drove off, there was a convocation (is that what you call it? my mind is blanking on it but it was a big ceremony outdoors welcoming freshmen into the college). I recall just walking over to the green where this was located, not knowing a soul and just realizing I was on my own and I was fine. I know that within hours, I got to know kids on the floor, etc. etc. Yeah, for a tiny bit it was strange to join this large crowd of kids and not know anyone but it was like starting a new adventure. My D who is about to go to college has gone to summer programs (I realize not quite the same) and has not known a soul ahead of time. But in minutes she became friends. Everyone is in the same boat and they reach out to each other. I am sure your D will be MORE than fine!

I look forward to hearing of everyone's journeys and the fall of freshman year after hearing of the journey to get there the past year or two on the forum!

By Mimk6 (Mimk6) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 02:30 am: Edit

Glad someone started this thread. We aren't there yet but close. D leaves on Friday for pre-orientation backpacking and I follow the following week for orientation/move in. I wish, wish, wish we were driving stuff. Sorting through what gets shipped and what goes in the few suitcases we can take is complicated. Every online order (for free shipping) has had complications. I have discovered my D has the ability to make every little decision more complicated than it needs to be -- colors of towels, linens, etc. and she has discovered that mom is a little insane. We vacillate now between moments of intimacy and wanting to strangle each other. I think the relief of all the details and planning the move being over will make it easier to part.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 03:04 am: Edit

S arrives home tomorrow and leaves for uni in 10 days. We'll drop him at the airport and wait for the first email. After we show him the first semester tuition bill. (Should I have it framed for his dorm room or is that too much?)

This morning, H says to me: "From now on, he'll be a visitor."


S's been a 'visitor', in and out for ten day visits since January. Suddenly I realize H needed GAP year more than S! What a softie.....

By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 06:53 am: Edit

We're having a farewell potluck picnic in our backyard tomorrow night for families sending kids off to college this year. It's just hit us too that the countdown has arrived. Our daughter could be ready to leave in 45 minutes, I believe, if no time were factored in for room cleaning(!), but her twin brother is still operating on the theory of thinking about each thing to do with college only as it's actually upon him. Well, it's upon him! I've read posts like this, where people write about never seeing their kids the summer of their senior year. It hasn't bothered me up until now but suddenly I'm feeling like I simply do not see this kid at all. And every time I say something like, "Hey, can we talk about what kind of bedding you want for your dorm room?" he says, "Can't talk now, Mom. I'm off to work." Or "Can't talk now, Mom. People are waiting for me." Still, I don't think either of these two will pull what our eldest did which is saying he would handle the packing, not to bug him, right up until the last minute and then was struck down by a massive migraine, leaving us literally shoveling things in boxes at the last minute before hauling him, still half sick, across the country. Gosh, looking back, that sure looks like one big clue that his first year of college wasn't going to work out, doesn't it?

I'm looking forward to hearing how it goes for all of you! Good luck!

By Achat (Achat) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 08:13 am: Edit

My son will be off in 8 days. He has been going to these farewell parties with his friends that scare me a bit. There is no work to do and so he has been saying goodbyes. He was home at 1:30 AM which is way past his curfew (there is a curfew in town of midnight for kids less than 18 years old). Said he was watching a movie that he just couldn't miss.

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 08:27 am: Edit

Very nice story Fredo.
I'm interested in the fact you dropped her off early. Was this because she is a freshman?Usually there is a move in day, seems interesting you could do this early and there was an orientation.Was this early move in day an option or does it have something to do with honors classes?
Good thing to leave her to cope. Yes, I felt the same way leaving my daughter on her own, I remember that a few years ago! They make friends when stuck without a roommate and are more likely to walk up to someone who seems similar to have their meals with.Is your daughter far from home or will she be coming home weekends?
Also SUE;Is your daughter taking dance as an elective in college?

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 08:56 am: Edit

BHG, my daughter will not be taking dance classes. However, she is hoping to be in the tap dance club there which is a repertory performance group. When she got admitted to Brown, I was looking at their website (before she attended the open house for admitted students) and discovered this tap dance troupe they have called What's On Tap. She was so psyched to see such a group there. She was hoping to continue in some sort of dance group in college but this one was more perfect than others she had seen at other schools (which were good too). She has danced her whole life including jazz, lyrical, hip hop and tap. But I would say that tap is her favorite and the one she has done the most years. The past two years she has been a tap repertory troupe here with her sister and they have loved that. It was a nice thing they did together. My younger one actually has been asked to do all their choreography. So, when she saw a similar group at Brown, it was like voila! It was like another thing getting her real interested in possibly attending. So, she contacted the girls in the troupe online and arranged to meet one of them on our visit and they talked about it and she really liked what she heard. It seems like she could be in it based on her experience. Actually of the few kids my daughter has recently "met" in a yahoo Brown '08 forum, a girl she has been emailing back and forth, is a tap dancer too so she may be going into this as well. So, that is likely what she will be doing with dance at Brown. There are a lot of dance groups there I think. My daughter has a variety of EC "loves" that she has done her whole life and wants to continue at Brown. It remains to be seen how many of these she can fit in at college though I think she should at least look into them to see what is involved. I know at home she managed to do all these things, on top of a heavy homework load in very challenging classes and in college, all that will be the case too but she won't be having to go to class for seven hours per day like at home. So, she will have to see what she can do there. I think right now the definites for her at Brown are the varsity ski team, the club tennis team (plays other colleges) and the tap dance troupe. She will likely see how she can fit in intramural soccer, musical theater, and instrumental music ensembles (plays two instruments and was in concert band and jazz band). It will be interesting to see how she puts together her year after years of schedules and such at home that we had to help orchestrate (and drive to!). I know she can't wait to begin.


By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 09:17 am: Edit

It's always so nice to see at these upper ranked colleges so many kids are very multi-talented and become involved in so much the university has to offer.

By Kissy (Kissy) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 09:44 am: Edit

Fredo- sounds like your D will do well and when the bulk of the freshmen arrive, she'll be looked up to as the knowlegeable dorm veteran. I arrived several days early freshman year due to flight constraints. I travelled alone cross-country and the dorm house mother (remember those?) allowed me to choose my room and roommate. Guess I chose well, as we're still good friends after all these years. We still laugh about having to wear our freshman dinks for the first week (now I'm dating myself!)

By Clipper (Clipper) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 01:36 pm: Edit

Glad Fredo mentioned something important - bring a tool kit with you. My H had to hook up, build stuff etc when we moved my oldest d in. The other parents came into her room to ask if they could borrow his tools.

I am getting excited for my daughter to head off to school too. Her room is so small though that there is no way to arrange it so it's no big deal what side of the room or bed she gets - they are mirror images of each other.
It's and experience that is for sure!

By Sac (Sac) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 03:04 pm: Edit

We're about a week away from D day (departure? destiny? disaster?). It doesn't feel quite like a real goodby yet because we're doing it in stages. Son will fly back on his own with a couple of suitcases, meet up with his bedding etc. that I ordered online and had shipped to a relative who lives near campus, move that stuff into his dorm and leave the next morning on his pre-orientation canoe trip. He talked to his roomate, who will be going on a different pre-orientation -- but it means they'll both be at the dorm that first night, which is nice.

Husband, with more suitcases, will fly to meet him when he gets back from the trip and complete the move in on the official day, including whatever needs to be added to his room in way of shelves, gadgets etc. (Husband was chosen for this assignment because of obvious lugging abilities and years of assembly experience, if a little lacking in the interior decorating expertise. Son could care less about the decor but is invested in having refrigerator up and running.)

Husband and I will both go back for parents weekend at start of October. I think it will all hit me on the couple of days that my son and husband are both gone. That will really be an empty nest!

By Fredo (Fredo) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 03:34 pm: Edit

I should probably have explained why my daughter was there early - but I didn't want to drone on. She's going to DePauw - which is about an hour and 15 minutes from home. She is a LEAD scholar (leadership, education and diversity - supposed to be the scholars that work towards diversity on campus - tough to do in Greencastle, IN!) and the LEAD scholars were required to come early to attend something called the DePauw Institute.

The institute is a pre-orientation program designed to help kids make the transition from high school to college in the academic arena. There's academic classes every morning and study skills type classes every afternoon. Meals are on your own, not with any specific group, and while there are some social "outings" they are limited e.g. ice cream social, movie night, etc. The last day is a special non-academic day where they're taking a "field trip" to Indianapolis for a big trip to the...mall!! Joke is that my daughter already knows that mall inside and out (definitely got that gene from me!). It seems a bit "high schoolish" to me but she seems to be taking in stride as just something she has to do: is that in and of itself a sign of maturing?

Some of the other kids are there because they are part of various programs such as community service scholars, 1st generation students, Posse program and other "invited" students. My daughter pretty quickly read this as a "remedial" program but had to go as part of her scholarship. Frankly, it won't hurt her at all to attend. She's a pretty solid student but I think this really will help to plant in her head that she's in college now - and what might have worked in high school for studying, test prep, etc. won't cut it in college.

But as this is primarily an academic program there's not a lot of socializing as in the frosh orientation. So she's kind of own her own. BHG (by the way I love your username - I'm a tennis fanatic)I think you make a good point: without the safety net of home, old friends or a roomie she's just going to have to jump in and make some new friends.

She did that last night - went to the ice cream social because she knew she should. She did meet one girl and they made the Walmart venture together. I also think it will help, as Kissy said, that come next week she'll be the veteran! She just really has to get through this week.

I saw that she already had some good news in that her college credits transferred and she qualified for a soph level psych class that she wanted. Gotta love those away messages with their little snippets of info!

By Patr1ck (Patr1ck) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 03:40 pm: Edit

Something I dont get is why there isnt this thread for boarding school. I mean you guys are crying cause their going on but boarding school would be like go home once a month and were only like 14... So why isnt there tears for us? (Just a thought) =)

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 03:47 pm: Edit

More of us on here have kids heading to college than to boarding school. Also those heading to boarding school have not left yet. Mom101 has a daughter doing it so maybe she will join the fray of us teary eyed parents or else parents dying to hear about the first days of living on their own!

I don't expect to see my daughter til late in October for parents weekend.


By Mom101 (Mom101) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 03:51 pm: Edit

Well Patrick, I'm a boarding school parent about to send off my 14 year old and I'm not shedding tears. Maybe this is what allows me to have become a boarding school parent. My daughter has been away from home for months every summer since she was 8. She has spent time off from school travelling to visit family and friends all over. When she was at boarding school last summer, it struck me that our daily phone calls were on a level that our talks at home weren't always. The distance made us focus on what was really going on. I'm actually looking forward to this next stage. Where I get those breaks every 2 months to just be with her! No homework, practices, phone ringing off the hook, daily grind of getting in the car to get everywhere on time....We've gone through the school calander and planned wonderful events for each break. This works for me!

By Patr1ck (Patr1ck) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 09:52 pm: Edit

Mom101, my situation was a little diffrent at first.. When I was 12 I got excited about military school and asked my mom if I could go and afetr months of begging she said yes. When I went it was a diffrent world... No friends... No talking.. No first name... This was the first time I left home for so long and when I got to see my mom she was so sad and then after she cried less and less until january. I went there for 2 years (www.robertlandacademy.com) Then in grade 9 I am 14 and it is a boarding school which is good because I want to be normal... So... yea.. I done know what Im sayin.. Haha

-Patrick (Lil' Pat)

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 10:08 pm: Edit

I'm sure you'll love it, Patrick. I know my daughter is beside herself with excitement. Good luck!

By Sdrew (Sdrew) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 09:29 am: Edit

We took our s on Sunday to Rice. I've been struggling all year with the fact that it's finally here, but I was so excited for him and all that he has ahead, that it was much easier than I imagined. I did have to close his door when I came home, as it hurts to look at his empty room:( Seeing how they surrounded him, how friendly everyone was has also made it easier. We're all looking forward to parent weekend.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 09:40 am: Edit

I want to clarify the shedding tears comment. I am not going to be crying while my D is gone. She has gone away all summer for over six years and I was fine. I never really worried about her and knew she was having a great time. I am not even worried one bit about her now going off to college and am actually very excited for her.

Sending a kid to college though, feels a bit different to me than when I sent her away every summer. The separation and stuff is not that different so I will be fine. I am used to it. But the part that kind of chokes me up when I think about it is just this juncture in our lives. It is the end of her growing up at home. She will never live with us in the way she has for the past 18 years. Summer programs ended and we resumed the usual. Now, we no longer will be a part of each other's daily lives. Of course we won't have the schlepping to all of her stuff but it will be so different to not be attending all of her events several times per week and not sharing any of those things. I am totally ready for this and she is very ready for college. Still, I find it a major milestone in her life and in ours. I kind of reminisce about all the occasions growing up with my child and now the child is off on her own and no longer living with the family, basically forever, not like summer programs or not even like boarding school. It is a big change in our lives.

I am actually very happy and not sad. I am a sentimental person though and while I won't be sad when she leaves cause I am happy for her, I just feel emotional about it cause it is finally here and her time with us and growing up is sort of over! That is more what I meant. It is like happiness and joy and excitement mixed in with sentimentality and letting go of this time in all of our lives.


By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 10:12 am: Edit

Congrats again to your D. We ahve received some literature about De Paul and was wondering about it just yesterday.Post more about her experiences there whenever you have time.Do they have a big athletic dept., are they big with sports?

By Shells (Shells) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 10:13 am: Edit

Hello everyone! I have been lurking on this board since I discovered it a couple of weeks ago and really had no intention of posting until I saw this thread. Fredo's post was so similar to my own experience this weekend I had to keep looking at the username to be sure it wasn't mine!

My D also moved in on Sunday, and even though she's going to our state school an hour away we both shed a few tears as she left home. Like Fredo's D, my D is there a week early since she's involved in the marching band and they have practice all week before the general population moves in this Friday. She had to be there for practice at noon on Sunday, then we went up to help move her stuff into her room around 6 pm, then she had to go back to practice at 7:30 pm. I think it was easier to say goodbye to her as she was rushing out the door than it would have been if we would have had to leave her there in her room looking lost and lonely! And since we are only an hour away from the college I'm sure she'll be home often.

I agree with Sdrew that it was easier than I thought it would be because I'm so excited about what she has to look forward to. She's always been extremely shy and never really had any close friends in our very small rural school, so we're hoping that she'll come out of her shell and get to experience those deep friendships that she's been missing out on all these years.

Soozievt said exactly what I was thinking about this being a very sentimental time. It's not that we're sad to see our kids go, but it's very emotional as a parent to see them entering this new stage of their lives. She got so sick of hearing from everyone about how this will be the best years of her life, but all of us parents are just hoping and praying that it's true. Now it's up to them to make it happen!

By Fredo (Fredo) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 04:16 pm: Edit

BHG: it's actually DePauw, not DePaul. So the biggest sports thing on campus is the Monon Bell- annual football game with Wabash (something like the 2nd oldest football series in the country).

I actually had been trying to think of the right word to describe how I've been feeling because sad wasn't right, as several people have noted.I came up with wistful, which isn't totally right either but closer. There's nostalgia, as well, because we know so dearly how hard our children have worked to get to this point of going of to college. And I don't necessarily mean worked academically but worked personally to develop and carve out and create the person that each one is.

Two years ago, my daughter suffered from severe depression, to the point of being suicidal. There was a time when we weren't sure she would be alive right now. But slowly and surely, with much work, patience, perseverance and love, she overcame it to succeed to the point that she is happy and secure with herself. Oh sure, she still has much growing to do but she's ready to tackle the world. There will be ups and downs but she's now equipped to handle them - plus she has a strong support system behind her in her father, brother and I.

The times I really cry are when I think about where she was and how far she's come and how's she done so much of that growing and learning by herself. We helped but she did the hard work herself. In one way or another, all our children have and that is why it touches us so much to see them go - the pride is overwhelming.

Shells: welcome to our little world! I had to laugh about marching band - we just left four years of the marching band world and while I loved so much about it and what it did for my daughter, I can honestly say that I will not miss it AT ALL!!!

By Anxiousmom (Anxiousmom) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 07:09 pm: Edit

I just wrote a long post, then hit the backspace button accidently - and it all disappeared. Darn. We took DD to Rice on Sunday also, and it was quite an experience. We drove up 15 minutes before the official start time, and there were already 30 or so upperclass students wearing colorful shirts waiting for the freshman. They applauded as each car drove into the parking lot. One guy stuck his head in the car and asked for my daughter's name, then went screaming to the "advisors". She's here, xxxxx is here! Who has xxxxxx?" Two advisors came running over, greeted us warmly by name. (And MY name also. I have a different last name than my daughter, and the advisors greeted me by name!) They helped us shlep stuff up 5 floors, all the while chatting and asking questions. They knew daughter's summer job, interests, hobbies, birthplace, you name it! just incredible. DD is in the UGLIEST of all the Rice residential colleges, and I nearly died when I saw the brown, brown, dark dorm room, with outside corridors etc. But by the time we had lofted the bed, put up some wall hangings and a lamp, it looked bearable. DD doesn't give a flip about room decor, and hardly ever spends any time in her room, so it'll be okay... it just bothers me! We stayed for a great lunch in her college, and met the college master and his wife (they live in a house attached to the college), and the two resident advisors (faculty who live in apartments in the college building). Also lunched with a student "college computer advisor", and met the college president (a student - the colleges are basically run by a student goverment. We decided not to stick around for all the parent orientation workshops and didn't hear the university president speak. We needed to get back home. Overall it went very well, but left me feeling just a little sad and lonely. It's hard knowing that she'll feel like a visitor when she comes home again.

By Kissy (Kissy) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 10:47 pm: Edit

Fredo- Knowing where your D is today and the struggles that she endured to get there must bring tears of joy and pride. The community at DePauw is a close-knit one and she'll continue to thrive in such a supportive environment. So very glad to hear that your D's story has a happy ending!

Anxiousmom- sounds like Rice rolls out the red carpet for incoming frehmen and their families!
I've never been there, but I've heard more kids say that they get the warm fuzzies when visiting the campus, so it must be a very friendly and nurturing place.

By Fredo (Fredo) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 12:47 am: Edit

Anxiousmom: sounds like Rice is awesome at welcomes! I am very impressed. What a great feeling to know your kid is entering that type of community.

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 - 09:26 am: Edit

Anxiousmom, fear not! I never felt like a visitor when home on weekend visits. I bet your DD will arrive home like she never left, set down her stuff, plop on her bed and IMMEDIATELY start calling everyone she's been dying to talk with! And you will feel like it's old times - until she challenges your preconcieved notions about her adhering to a curfew. That's the buzz I get from all my friends who have been through this. It must not be horrible, though, because everything in their lives gets put on hold during those weekend visits so they can spend what time they can together.

Best of luck to everyone during this "adjustment phase." H and I take son to New Orleans on Friday.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 01:37 pm: Edit

Along -- I agree with you, my D has been home all summer and settled in pretty well. I don't think she felt like a visitor. Even winter break, she had almost six weeks off, and was home the whole time except one week when we went to Paris, and she seemed very much at home and generally happy to be there (although right now I think she is ready to go back!).

One thing I wanted to point out that I hadn't expected last year -- the moment of leaving her in the dorm was no problem. I've dropped her off places all her life, for the night, the weekend, a few weeks, etc. It was only the next day when it hit me, really HIT ME. Going from the daily contact to a few times a week, for a few minutes, is VERY drastic, and I don't think I was really preparing for it. That's what I found the hardest, not leaving her in the dorm and driving away (that was fairly easy).

By Katwkittens (Katwkittens) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 05:28 pm: Edit

Son leaves Saturday morning on a 6:30 am flight. He has to be there early for football camp/practice. He is taking what he can on the flight and I will ship him what isn't fitting. I might be able to go up (MN) and visit orientation weekend (Sept. 4-6) but have all the other kids (4) at home to account for. Tonight is the first high school football game of the year and he isn't there....boy, did I cry. His first game of the year will be on 9/11 and I seriously doubt I will be able to attend any, have the others in high school. I have been blubbering all day. All his shoes, clothes are all so big it is hard to fit them all (OF/DF lineman). His brother (a junior) is saying if it is going to be "this bad" he is just going to go to Duke!! (it's 20 minutes from our house) He'll probably end up at Stanford! DD, a senior, is right in the throes of applying and is all over the place about schools. We'll see.

Off to pack more, and watch DS cringe when I ask him for the tenth time if he really wants to take that ol' nasty t-shirt that he has had forever.....

Katw/one less kitten

By Archermom (Archermom) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 08:52 pm: Edit

Hello...Just returned to Los Angeles yesterday afternoon. We dropped D off at Bryn Mawr for the Trico Summer Institute with Bryn Mawr, Haverford & Swarthmore 1st yrs. No tears at departure. The student hosts greeted us as we walked up to the dorm...they happen to be Bryn Mawr students...grabbed the LARGE suitcase out of H's hands and lugged it up the staircase!!! Very friendly and welcoming! At the parent orientation, we traveled the furthest...it was a nice connection. D has talked to her younger sis twice and we finally spoke with her last night...having a blast. She connected with her Haverford hosts...liked them all...can't wait to get to Haverford on Sunday and meet up with her 1st yr classmates. No tears...just a lot of excitement and happiness.

By Lilyemerald (Lilyemerald) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 09:43 pm: Edit

Hi.. Hope you parents don't mind a student crashing in on this post.. I moved into my dorm early as well.. None of my room mates are here. (i have apartment style living) It's quite freaky at night with no one around. But tomorrow's move in day for most ppl so I can't wait. I moved in early for international students' orientation. Had some tears when I left home to head to the airport but so far, no home sickness.. Won't see my family till Dec and already I can't wait. Heh. Well, hope everyone who's moving their children in get it done ok.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 09:44 pm: Edit

haha Katw. Love the cringe and barely suppressed roll of the eyes when we ask S, home for ten days only, "Do you want to go out to dinner with us?" (We'd been out to lunch already).

Or when I tell him not to hit the brick post on his way out of the carport.

Then again, a few days ago, he did ask "Who is taking me to college?" (Anticipation skills: 0--but it did show reveal a bit of a softie).

By Caseyatthebat (Caseyatthebat) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 10:44 pm: Edit

Katwkittens: What a wonderful post; great new penname, katw/one less kitten. Good luck to your kids!

By Grlzmom (Grlzmom) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 12:07 am: Edit

Must be a northern thing...my daughter is feeling left out because all her friends have been gone for a couple of weeks now. She's going to a school in Northern KY and doesn't start until Labor Day but schools here in TN either started class this week or on Monday!

By Jenniferpa (Jenniferpa) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 07:31 pm: Edit

We're delivering D tomorrow. I'm just dreading 3 flights of stairs with all her stuff! Actually, a friend was telling me about one of the Penn State satellites where you simply drive up, and the entire football team is there to help! They don't charge, but it would make a good fundraiser, don't you think? I know I'D pay someone to carry her fridge upstairs.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 02:04 am: Edit

I think that is a great idea
I just loaded my car with all the misc printers that weren't worth fixing, keyboards old monitors and CPUs that I have been hoarding for the last 17 years and dropped them off at a recyling place, I was dreading hauling them around but a whole group just unloaded it at the same time and it took them like two minutes!

( My daughter who is having to STAY HOME this year, is going on the greyhound to her college tommorow for a week to work, we are picking her up next week I hope she is able to transition OK)

By Clipper (Clipper) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 06:32 pm: Edit

Shells - I was very interested when I read your post but I thought I would give you some advice my old friend gave me (she lurks here). You mentioned in your post that your daughter will be coming home often during the school year. I told my daughter who is at a college 3 hours away that she could not come home until Thanksgiving. She seemed a little shocked at that but my friend explained to me that kids who frequently come home really don't make the connections they should at their college. If they are "forced" to stay they will make the best of it. A friend of mine had a son and she drove EVERY WEEKEND 3 hours up and 3 hours back to bring him home on Friday and then take him back on Sunday. He said he hated the college. She finally quit doing it and during the second semester he finally got acclimated to the college and made friends.
Just thought I would put that out there.

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 06:47 pm: Edit

I agree clipper. My daughter had an aquaintance @ Reed that came home every weekend freshman year to see her boyfriend. She missed Seattle so much that sophmore year she transferred to the UW. However junior year she was back at Reed, cause she missed it. She is apparently on track to graduate.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 07:29 pm: Edit

One of TheDad's Rules for College Application: you shall apply to no college within a two-hour drive.

Doesn't stop the coming home phenomenon but should slow it down.

We've already told D that she can come home for Thanksgiving this year only, due to the extenuating circumstance of wanting to see her younger friends she danced with in "The Nutcracker"

By Bookiemom (Bookiemom) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:04 pm: Edit

This seems harsh to me, to say that a D can't come home until Thanksgiving, or not come home at all for Thanksgiving, unless finances didn't allow it. My D was so homesick as a freshman that she asked to come home for a weekend in Oct. (Her college starts in late Aug.) She is in another state, about a 2 1/2 hour flight away. This visit after about seven weeks of school really seemed to help her realize that her home, town, friends, etc. would all be here for her.

We have our only extended family get-together for Thanksgiving. If she didn't get to attend, she wouldn't get to see her aunt and uncle and cousins. Attending the annual holiday is very important to her.

She also came home at Christmas, spring break (March), and Easter weekend. If I hadn't allowed these visits, I don't think she would have returned to her college this year. She is at this college because they have her major and we can afford it. Even with the cost of the flights, her out-of-state college is less than our flagship state university.

You can't really predict how hard the transition from D at home to independent young woman at college will be. My D was used to being away in the summer for several weeks and is quite independent too, but she did miss home, family, and *boyfriend*. If you have your D in tears on the phone saying she doesn't want to stay at that college, the offer of a couple of visits at home spaced out over the year can make a difference.

I just returned from taking my D back to college for her sophomore year. We drove the 1,200 miles in her little Mazda so she could have a car at college. And we took our eight-week-old puppy with us!

By Thumper1 (Thumper1) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:32 pm: Edit

Our son is about a two hour drive from home. We thought he might come to visit every so often for a weekend...but he didn't come home until Thanksgiving. We saw him only on the school breaks. The reality is that most of his friends from here were away at college and if he had come home for a weekend, it would have been spent with mom and dad. His college is in a big city...very opposite our semirural home. DD, on the other hand, is considering colleges that are VERY far from here. We have told her that financially it is unlikely that we could fly her home for Thanksgiving and then again 10 day later(which is the schedule for many of the southern schools). However all of the schools she is considering are near close relatives or very close friends who are VERY willing to adopt her for Thanksgiving!!

By Momsdream (Momsdream) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:34 pm: Edit

{One of TheDad's Rules for College Application: you shall apply to no college within a two-hour drive. }

TheDad, does this rule out any of their interests?

By Anxiousmom (Anxiousmom) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:41 pm: Edit

My DD just called to ask if she could bring a group of her new friends home over labor day weekend to visit our city. (She is 3 hours away.) I said "sure!". I can understand not wanting your kid to use home as a crutch, but if they want to come home (and bring some new friends in the bargain!) why not!

By Stephable (Stephable) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:50 pm: Edit

I don't really think it's harsh, just practical when long distances are involved. For example, for me to come home for Thanksgiving weekend or reading week would require a good many hours in airports and on planes, not to mention a four-hour time zone change. My parents never expressly told me that I would not be coming home until Christmas; it was just automatically assumed.

I do have many college friends whose homes are around a two-hour plane ride from school. Some go home, some do not. It depends on many things, from finances to family traditions.

Returning home frequently throughout a semester can sort of create of vicious circle. I've seen it happen. A kid that's returning home every few weekends is missing out on a lot of university events and quality friendship-building time that go on while he/she's away. Then the kid returns to school and wonders why living there isn't becoming any easier or feeling any more comfortable.

Of course, coming home a few times a semester, if finances and logistics permit, is a perfectly valid option. However, it's usually not a great hardship to be stuck at school for the whole semester, either.

-Stephanie - (who is incredibly homesick...for university)

By Threetogo (Threetogo) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:51 pm: Edit

Well, I just finshed loading up the car for the trip tomorrow 650 miles away. My husband has to take him as three younger ones start school on Tuesday. I must say, I am not handling this well. Also, the saddest thing happened yesterday while I went for a walk with my 9 year old. He offered to change his name to Michael so we would still have him at home. Ugh. It broke my heart.

By Wlrsqtr (Wlrsqtr) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:56 pm: Edit

Anxiousmom, I'm pretty sure we have kids in the same ugly building. The room did seem to get better when it was personalized some and there was a fabulous breeze when all the doors in the suite were open (no grid floor). We dropped D off last sunday. And the kids who ran up and greeted us were wonderfully caring, D was instantly involved. So far she reports (okay one e-mail and a 2 minute phone call)that she is having the the time of her life, has never been busier. We stayed for the whole afternoon (without D of course) for the parent orientation because it was hard to leave. By the time we left I felt very strongly that my daughter (who had lots of great choices) really knew herself when she choice Rice and that made me feel pretty good about leaving her. Actually I was doing well until today (a week later) when I sat down in her room and cried.
Bookiemom, you are right it depends upon the college the kid and the family. We are flying to see D in Oct for Parents Weekend and she will come home this Thanksgiving. I am pretty sure it is me and not her that will need the fix. But if finances didn't allow it I guess we would see her at Christmas and summer (and had her fly off to orientation without two parents in tow). I'm hoping D will come home every Thanksgiving, but I am grateful that she is somewhere where there are very likely to be pleasant alternatives (including relatives). My D left her romances behind when most of her guy friends went off to college a year before her and seemed not to want to be anything but buddies this summer. Kids from her school go to college all over the world so there is no going home to see friends except on holidays. She reports that she has no really close friends yet (one week) but many possibilities - so I think all is good.

By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 11:29 pm: Edit


Your 9 year old sounds an absolute darling. What a thoughtful kid!

By Wlrsqtr (Wlrsqtr) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 01:19 am: Edit

Also, Anxiousmom, it was reported that 200 kids applied to be advisors to freshman in Ds residential college - Of those only 30 were accepted. If you consider that 80 of the approx. 330 kids in L college graduated in May, an overwhelming majority of students in the college volunteered to give up a couple of weeks of their summer (and pay for for the opportunity) to be student advisors to our freshman. And they clearly worked, carrying the fridge, taking kids to target, bank, and running orietation. Also, all the advising (tons of it, from lots of smart students and profs) has resulted in a schedule that just seems to make a lot of sense and doesn't look much like the schedule she would have created for herself a week ago. This sounds sort of like an ad, but that is how enthusiastic I feel right now.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 03:06 am: Edit

Bookiemom, given a 7+ hour plane trip including a connecting flight each way plus the $$$ involved for a four-day holiday, there are better uses of both time and money.

Momsdream, it's very rare that the only college(s) that facilitate their interests will be within a two-hour drive of home. College, imo, should be far enough away that the kids can't bring laundry home and the parents can't pop in on a whim. Independence issues, both sides.

And in both cases, I think there are some positive opportunities that will be forced by the lack of safety net.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 09:41 am: Edit

I agree with backhandgrip -- I don't see the need to be so rigid (no college closer than 2h away).

I know plenty of kids who were home a couple of times before Thanksgiving and like their colleges perfectly fine. My D didn't come home until TG, and at a get together of her HS friends (with parents!), we realized she was just about the only one who hadn't been home at least once already! Also, Brown has a long weekend for Columbus Day, and D said about 3/4 of the dorm was gone (some home, some visiting friends from HS at other colleges, etc), even though parents' weekend was only a couple of weeks later.

We went up for parents' weekend -- helped me A LOT to see her feeling so much at home there.

I did talk to one of my colleagues who has a D in college, too, and she (the mother) told me that at her college the students were not permitted to visit home until Thanksgiving! Of course they could never enforce this now, but in the days of dorm curfews I suppose they did.

By Jenniferpa (Jenniferpa) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 10:12 am: Edit

While I agree in principle with the concept of not returning home for some time after starting college, in practice it doesn't look as if it's quite as easy as that. To begin with, not only is there the Labor Day weekend shortly, my daughter's school has their fall break the third weekend in September! Sometimes, practicalities get in the way of theories.

We dropped her off at school yesterday. Move in wasn't too bad (I persuaded the resident director to let me use the service elevator to move the fridge) but I can't say it was without trauma. Firstly. I managed to drop a box that contained one of the few gifts from her boyfriend that my daughter actually likes, a pair of elephants that are designed to hang from a shelf, and look as if they're scrambling up. I'm going to have to see if they can be repaired, or ideally, replaced. Unfortunatly, they seem to be one of a kind. She actually look it pretty well, but I feel incredibly guilty. Her roomate was so quiet and monosyllabic that I think it's going to be very difficult for them to form any kind of relationship. I'm just hoping the girl is either very shy, or even homesick, but to be honest, she just seemed surly. To put a cap on a not so perfect day, as we drove back into our driveway, the transmission dumped all its fluid, which is especially irritating becasue it was serviced last week. All low grade irritations that are just piling up, but I suppose they have the advantge of giving me something to think about, rather than simply worrying about how she's getting on.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 10:18 am: Edit

Jennifer -- I'm sure she'll adjust fine! Although if you're like me, you'll continue to worry... :)

You're right that a number of schools have a fall break before Thanksgiving when most kids go home, often as long as a week. Those are probably the schools that start earlier, too.

Also, I don't think it's necessary to push a kid far away if kid doesn't want to go. I know a student who was about 7 hours (driving) away freshman year, wasn't too happy, went back for soph year then transferred to our State U for spring semester of soph year. She is still there and very happy. Parents are about 45 min drive away, so she visits often, but she has her own apt and seems to like this much more than being so far away. I just don't think it's necessarily true that ALL 18 year olds are ready to go so far away, and that parents should insist they do.

By Marite (Marite) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 10:34 am: Edit

I'll bet that in the Greater Boston area there are many many students who are less than an hour from home. And on many campuses throughout the country, there are children of faculty who attend tuition-free.

By Fredo (Fredo) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 10:51 am: Edit

Well, I'm the original poster and I have to tell you all that my daughter came home one week after we took her! If you managed to read all through the posts, you know she went to a pre-orientation program that turned out to be dull, boring and non-essential. She was the only one on her hall (although a few athletes arrived during the week but they were busy with practices, etc.) and there weren't really a lot of people on campus.

She met a few people - enough to eat meals with and hang around with at night but there wasn't the frenetic activity that comes with frosh orientation. So she was homesick for her friends and said she wanted to come home. Came home Friday night and went back Saturday afternoon (we only live 1 1/4 hours away and she has her car).

When she got back it was right into the thick of orientation. I think for her it was just the right thing to do.

It reminded me of a 2 year old toddler: they start off right next to mom and then knowing she's there they start to wander off to explore. But every now and then they realize they're out there all on their own and they need the quick reassurance that mom (or dad, sorry dad!) is still there as home base. So they come back, hug your leg, and take off again. I think that's how it was for my daughter. I don't think she'll do it a lot but she needed that initial little step back before she takes some giant steps forward.

By Mini (Mini) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 11:13 am: Edit

Well, we've made different plans. Wife is taking d. out to school. D. goes on three-day hike, then my wife will spend two days getting her all settled in. I will go out for parents weekend in mid-October. Thanksgiving, d. will be going to grandma's house in Washington, DC, and has been told to bring many friends from school with her (especially international students), where they can spend a week. Flying coast to coast in the Turkey Day rush seems a little much to me. She will fly back here for the winter break, and I will take her to India for 3 weeks. Then she'll fly right back.

By Farawayplaces (Farawayplaces) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 11:24 am: Edit

I think I know what Thedad is saying. In our rural state, the three 4-year colleges are l00, 200, and 300 miles from our town. I know a number of parents who think that the 300-mile college is too far, and subtly pressure the kids to go to one closer to home! Then the kids come home every couple of weeks.

Our kids went 1300 and 2000 miles away, and don't come home till Christmas. We have tried to visit parents' weekend in October, though that is not always possible due to money. It's been fine. They spend school breaks on campus and get to know international kids. They get invited to roommates' houses for Thanksgiving. All great experiences. I'm not saying this is for all kids, but kids who venture outside of their comfort zone can gain an extra richness from college. We do spend Thanksgivings alone, but we've never regretted encouraging our chicks to fly.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 11:40 am: Edit

Mini -- your D is lucky to have family nearby (DC) so she can go "home" for thanksgiving!

We are also taking advantage of the long winter break to go to India for 3 weeks... it's nice not to have to go over the summer anymore!

(I wonder if I know said grandma ... my family emigrated to the DC area almost 40 years ago, and we know a lot of the Indian community here -- anyway, I like to keep my anonymity, as I'm sure you do, too, so I won't exchange names!).

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 11:40 am: Edit

I don't think that you need to go 2000 miles from home to be independent however. Like I posted on another thread, my daughter had spent summers away at camp since high school and while she did come home when she had a break, we didn't really even exchange letters much if at all and towards the end of the summer I actually felt guilty about not communicating more.
Although she only went 200 miles away to college, she only came home for fall break freshman year, it is actually really disruptive for them to come home for a week so close to school starting, they get out of sync.She does come home for Thanksgiving, but since we havent seen her since school started in August, it is a nice way to touch base, although if she wasn't so close, we would not likely do that.
I did go parents weekend freshman year, but she was so busy with school that we barely saw her and I wasn't really interested in the few activities that they had on campus. I did take her younger sister to campus every midwinter break (public school middle of feb) for a few days. It broke up the break for her sister as February is a pretty miserable time in Seattle if you aren't on the slopes and often even then!
The college D was still pretty busy, but I hope she enjoyed seeing us ( although we did just see her winter break) and we always took her and her friends out to dinner, so we were very popular!

By Mini (Mini) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 11:46 am: Edit

"We are also taking advantage of the long winter break to go to India for 3 weeks... it's nice not to have to go over the summer anymore!

(I wonder if I know said grandma ... my family emigrated to the DC area almost 40 years ago, and we know a lot of the Indian community here -- anyway, I like to keep my anonymity, as I'm sure you do, too, so I won't exchange names!)."

Sorry - said Grandma is Mongol-Semitic. We'll be in Tamil Nadu, near Madurai (though d. will spend some time at the naturopathic institute in Coimbatore). And you?

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 11:58 am: Edit

We'll be mainly in the North (Delhi and UP), with a short trip to Bangalore.

I agree you don't need to go far away to be independent -- personally, I think it's OK for kids to live at home and commute to college if they want to. Not everyone is ready to be pushed out of the nest at age 18 -- not sure why we arbitrarily decide they MUST be at that age!

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 12:10 pm: Edit

my aunt just moved to Seattle from Pathankot, she has lived there for 40 years, hope she doesn't freeze to death!
She had an extra clingy mother, and moved to India after graduation from college, as it seemed to be above reproach ( she was a missionary) but she still could get away!
Seems a little extreme to me, it must have been a hard life, she is only 65 but looks as old as my neighbor who is a spry 90.

By Mini (Mini) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 12:15 pm: Edit

"I agree you don't need to go far away to be independent -- personally, I think it's OK for kids to live at home and commute to college if they want to. Not everyone is ready to be pushed out of the nest at age 18 -- not sure why we arbitrarily decide they MUST be at that age!"

Well, mine's only 16, but pushing 40! We had our last joint rehearsal with the opera company last night - sniff, sniff -- though she decided to have a lesson with her vocal coach the day before she leaves! (wants to be ready for auditions.)

By Emptynester (Emptynester) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 12:37 pm: Edit

Doesn't it seem that there is just as much variation in 16-18 yr olds as in 2-4 yr olds? Some are ready for preschool and don't like any handholding = MINE! Some older teens need more support than others = again MINE! My h's not so secret dream is that kids will return w/life partners to live either with us or next door. Alternatively he hopes the new in-laws will allow us move next door to them. Natually this means we aren't changing our sons' bedrooms. And I so liked Farawayplaces description of all the trophies/award/memorabilia being charming, she hoped, to guests. (hope I paraphrased correctly) A few of my visitors have just burst out laughing. I think it is good the *kids* get a little break from us in college because we may well end up in some sort of extended family living arrangement, which isn't so unusual in my family.

By Wlrsqtr (Wlrsqtr) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 01:16 pm: Edit

You are right of course 18 is just an arbitrary age but I always regreted that I had to commute the first year or so ($)and set out to ensure that D would have the a true residential college experience beginning in Freshman year (and be ready for it). That experience doesn't have to be thousands of miles away. There is a top university with a great residential experience a 15 minute bike ride from our home. The few local kids I know of there do not come home all that much.

By Megsdad (Megsdad) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 04:43 pm: Edit

We will be taking the long (14 hour) drive to Boston this week to deliver our daughter to Wellesley. She is our last one home and I am not at all afraid to say this is about to kill me. I know this is what we have hoped for her, this is what she has worked so very hard to accomplish, and it is the "natural order" of life. But it just isn't that easy for me or for my wife (but especially me). I have said so many times that God so richly blessed us with this young lady, that it seems like a dream. In fact, if I had drawn on paper in advance, what I would have hoped for in raising a daughter, she would be the complete and total fulfillment of that wishlist. People comment all the time how very lucky we are to have such a beautiful daughter who has flawless outer beauty, but much more importantly, has inner beauty and grace and a kind, loving spirit for all.
The drive back from Boston will be very tough. I am comforted by the fact that a long 2 year search for the right fit in a school brought us to Wellesley. Time and time again over these last weeks I have realized it was a good choice for her. Good luck to all the parents on here who are going through the withdrawal symptoms. I realize we all have different aspects to this stage of life, and some are ready for it to happen. I am not ready. I consider it a very bittersweet experience. I guess this is my last post!!

By Sokkermom (Sokkermom) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 04:48 pm: Edit


Don't go away. I think your daughter is the kind of young lady I would love for my son to meet! LOL

Good luck to you and her. We just dropped him off last week (about the same distance from home)
and it was very tough.....

By Anxiousmom (Anxiousmom) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 09:16 pm: Edit

Yes, I think our kids are "lovetting" it together at Rice. Have you read the Matriculation address that the new president made to the kids? (I don't know why they do the matriculation ceremony without us sentimental parents! I would have loved to have seen it!)
The address is very touching - and I think the new President will be a big asset to Rice.
(http://www.professor.rice.edu/professor/040815.asor accessible from the main web page.)
Yes, DD is loving Rice, and has a terrific schedule of classes with all the professors she wanted to get - but she has called almost daily in a very casual way just to say hi and find out what is going on here, and tell us what's going on with her.

By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 09:44 pm: Edit

Hang in there, Megsdad. I enjoyed your post. I was interested in the part where you said if you had written down every wish, your daughter would have been the exact fulfilment of each one. She sounds wonderful. What I have always felt about my own daughter, though, is that if I had been allowed to go down a check-list of what I wanted in a daughter, I would not, on my own devices, have come up with such a terrificly interesting and unique individual. I guess it's best it wasn't up to me!

By Robyrm (Robyrm) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 10:05 pm: Edit

I left my son at Grinnell yesterday after spending 36 hours in town. He had preceded me, having been included in the International student orientation. By the time I arrived he had been there for 5 days. He knew all the 63 other international kids, and it seemed we ran into one or another every other minute. Plus, he knew a lot of upperclassmen from the various international orientation events they had helped with. Anyone he didn't know also said hello, it seemed. Various programs were presented to parents which were helpful in understanding the history, mind-set and orientation of the college-- all were presented in a casual but comprehensive manner- and were mostly re-assuring! So many of the parents looked familiar to me, I felt that I had met them all on one college tour or another!

I met his advisor who will also teach his freshman seminar- he knew a lot of details about my son, having not yet met him- which was very positive. Grinnell reports that their advising is "intrusive" though they emphasize that students "self govern" and really there are very few "rules".

When my son hugged me goodbye his eyes were misty. I held up until I drove away. Then I circled the campus in my car about a dozen times(it's fairly small!), before I called my sister who told me everything would be fine and I had to drive away (she is a college staff person and has seen thousands of parents say goodbye!)...I just felt like I wanted to circle him with all our hopes and our love and our very positive feelings about a school that (cross fingers) seems just a great fit for him!

I have decided that his father will take his younger brother to school next August....I am not sure I can do it again.

It will be tough to be 10,000 miles away!!

By Farawayplaces (Farawayplaces) on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 10:47 pm: Edit


Your post was so touching. Our oldest launched herself to Grinnell six years ago, and I felt my insides melt. We did not see her till parents' weekend. I was so excited to see her; she was friendly but a little distracted. She invited us to a Friday night film with her friends. After the film, we all walked out in the dark, and the group realized they had not checked their mail that day in the boxes below the bookstore and took off that way laughing. My husband I were left behind. Then it hit that she had truly left me behind, that she was okay, that her adulthood was launched--a churn of emotions--and in view of other curious students I wrapped my arms around a tree and wept.

The emotions of that time were only rivalled by those of when I gave birth. I say don't worry about the turmoil, don't try to get over it, but just let yourself move through it. Their leaving does get easier, the intensity subsides as time passes and their being gone becomes a new "normal."

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