They’re Moved In... Now What?
Again, the length of time a parent stays on campus will vary from student to student. I had always been pretty independent so I was ready for my parents to leave and they knew that because we talked about what we would do as we made the two-hour drive to the school; if not, the scenario could have been more awkward than it needed to be. You don’t necessarily need to wait until you’re on the way to campus to discuss this with your child…you can bring it up when they get their room assignment or when you’re shopping for supplies. While you’re on the subject, you can also map out a plan for future campus visits so there are no crossed signals then, either.
Unfortunately, if you thought deciding when to say goodbye was hard, deciding how to actually say goodbye isn’t much easier. Does the occasion warrant a hug or a handshake? Do you stay cool or is it ok to cry?
No child wants their floormates to remember their parents as being the weepy ones so try to keep the waterworks at bay until you’re at least out of the building. If you can’t – we know this can be a very emotional time for some parents – be sure to have tissues at the ready and Mom, if you wear eyeliner or mascara, check to see that the products are waterproof before application. Hugs and handshakes are perfectly acceptable, as are a few final words of wisdom (your child will need every pearl of wisdom they can get!), before you depart. It’s natural to feel sad or unsure about this new living arrangement but remember that this is an incredible opportunity for your child to learn, grow and make you even prouder than you already are.