It’s here! College move-in day has finally arrived! All that luggage has been hauled and unloaded into the dorms. Now what? It’s almost time to part. It’s like when fathers symbolically walk their daughters down the aisle to present to the new groom, except in this case, you’re the father, your college kid is the bride, and the groom is a big and scary thing called the real world. Here are some suggestions on how you can make the most out of your college goodbye.
Have a Celebration Meal
After getting all the dirty work done (i.e. hauling and unloading all that luggage into the dorm), try getting lunch with the family if time permits. It’s always nice to share a family meal, and eating at a restaurant in the college town is a nice way to say goodbye. Try eating at a well-known local restaurant to experience what your child’s college town has to offer. A tried and true, family-favorite chain restaurant will work too!
Last Minute Dorm Shopping
While unpacking the luggage, your kid realized that he forgot something for the dorm room. This is a perfect time to head to the local supermarket to pick up those necessities and maybe get some dorm snacks as well. This shopping trip may or may not be an excuse to buy more precious time with your kid…
One word of warning to keep in mind is that supermarkets in college towns tend to be busy during move-in days because of all the other college families flocking to buy those last-minute items.
Reflect and Relax on Campus
Move-in day is tiring for both parents and students. Take a break and stroll around the college campus with your family. This is the perfect opportunity for you to see parts of the campus that you’ve yet to see, all the while sharing an unforgettable moment with your family. For your kid, this stroll will be helpful for when he has to navigate his way around on the first day of class. If the college campus has grassy lawns and areas shaded by trees, feel free to lounge around like a college student too!
“It’s not a ‘Goodbye,’ it’s a ‘See you later.’”
Okay, so we’re calling it a college goodbye for simplicity’s sake, but it’s not really a goodbye. You’ve heard that expression a thousand times, right? It’s almost… trite. Maybe just reading it made you want to roll your eyes in exasperation, as if to say,” Yeah, yeah I get it.” If there’s one thing characteristic about clichés, it’s that the reoccurring societal truths behind them are what make them, well, cliché.
I guarantee that you’re going to be repeating this quote, at least subconsciously, to yourself the day you drop your kid off to college. Embrace it. You will see your son or daughter by the time Thanksgiving rolls around! Those bittersweet emotions you feel are from the realization that your kid is not a kid anymore, not because your nest now has one less birdie occupying it.
Let your kid know that you will always be one phone call away, and give him a hug with as much force as you deem necessary! The college goodbye is always a bittersweet moment for both parents and students. Embrace the moment and cheer them on from far away!
If you miss your college student too much, consider sending a college care package. It’s an easy and simple way to send your love and ensure that your student is motivated all semester!