It’s mid-August, and Back to School preparations are in full swing 🙂
Going off to college is an emotionally charged time for both the student and the parents. It is sooo much more than the typical annual shopping spree, getting backpacks and school supplies in at least 3 ways.
- The books and “supplies” are definitely different in price. The books alone could take up a huge chunk, if not a whole week’s paycheck. Pretty much gone are the days of paper and pen; now they need a laptop or tablet fully loaded with various software programs.
- They need to furnish their dorm rooms or apartments. Every school has different rules & regulations / requirements … ex. microwaves are provided – microwaves are not allowed. Bedding reflects their personal style / décor can show their school spirit … and it all has to be stored compactly, not to mention actually fit into the minivan for the road trip to get moved in 🙂
- Last, but most certainly not least, are the gi-normous tuition payments that will now be a way of life for the foreseeable future.
For these young adults, it’s a conflicted time – exciting and scary. They anticipate living on their own, being independent, making decisions for themselves. Some may be happy to be out from under their parent’s “thumb” and get to experience freedom. Others may be a little leery of all this newfound freedom. Still others may feel “on the fence”, relating to both range of emotions. This first time away from home, they will be learning far more than academic courses.
As parents, we are scratching our heads and wondering where the time went. It seems they were just babies not that long ago. We are reliving all their milestones in our memories. We are juggling so many emotions (pride, joy, sadness, anxiousness, etc. … ) in these final days of Back to School preparations along with so many questions running through our minds. Are they ready to handle so much independence? Will they be homesick? What if they can’t stand their new roommate? Will they be able to balance their studies and social life? Will they be able to manage their money well? All these questions and concerns will probably be discussed on the ride to the college campus, but first and foremost, make sure they know how much you love them and how proud of them you are. Re-assure them that you are always there for them — no matter what – you are just a phone call away. Oh … and try to hold back your tears for the long ride home (if you can) … my kids know me well enough that that isn’t something I can control, but they do know that I try <3