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25 Thoughts Parents Have Once Their Kids Leave for College

For returning college students, it’s that time of year again. But for rising freshman and their parents, everything is new. Get ready to embark on a roller-coaster of emotions.

How all parents feel dropping their kids off at college

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Bittersweet sentiments parents go through

How parents handle their kids heading off to college. 

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“I’m so proud”

It’s one of the proudest moments a parent has. When the college acceptance letters start pouring in, parents all over are beaming with happiness.

“I’m the best parent”

Then you ultimately give yourself a pat on the back for being the one responsible for creating them.

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“Wait, it costs how much?!”

Tuition is one thing, but parents are always shocked to learn about the extra costs that college accrues: books, meal plans, spending money, etc.. You feel like you ought to hire an accountant! 

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“Is their major a return on investment?”

Sometimes you have doubts about your child’s decision. Are you sure you want to be an art major?!

“Will their roommate be a bad influence?”

No parent wants their kid to get paired with the party animal or the loose cannon. You'll practically do an FIB check on them.

“Let's mark move-in day on the calendar”

It’s the milestone you’ve dreamt of/ dreaded for so long. After you’ve helped your kid move in, it’s time to wave goodbye and drive away.

“Why did they pack so much?”

You have to remind your kid not to bring the whole house with them to school. Stay practical.

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“Do they have everything they need?”

Well, you won’t know until they’re actually gone and they call you coplaining that they needed an A5 as well as an A4 notebook. But you have been making lists all summer.

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“Call me when you can”

You don’t want to seem too pushy in the beginning, because you need to give them their space. Your kid is leaving home for the first time to learn how to be an adult, but still, you’re freaking out!

“Don’t be nervous”

Constantly remind them. They might roll their eyes, but after a week at school, they’ll call you to tell you how great college is.

“I’m always here for you”

Parents don’t stop being parents just because their kids are out of the house. You’ll never stop worrying, no matter where they are.

“Are they still alive?”

After you’ve given them some space, a couple of days or weeks go by with no word. Your mind is racing and comes up with the worst scenarios.

“Do they remember me?”

Sadness starts to set in. You tell yourself your kid is never going to need you again.

“When are you coming home again?”

Every time you call, you desperately want to pose the question. I mean, for crying out loud, you miss your kid!

“I’m lonely”

Some parents go through empty nest syndrome when they don’t have the same responsibilities they once did for their kid. Rest assured, the feeling goes away with time.

“Now what?”

Now is the time to focus on everything you’ve neglected for the past 18 years!

“I have so much time for myself!”

Eventually you come to accept the change and you and your spouse end up having the time of your lives!

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“Let’s see what they’re up to on Facebook…”

But the urge to know what’s going on at college persists. You might see a picture from a wild night out and start commenting to ask the hard-hitting questions: “What’s in that red solo cup?!” Expect annoyed texts from your kid in return.

“Why aren’t they picking up the phone?”

For some reason your kid has forgotten how to use the phone, but more than likely, they’re dodging your calls. It annoys you when you actually have a question that needs answering!

“How are your grades?”

You want to make sure they’re doing well, but also check up on their mental health. It’s a stressful change!

“Are you making friends?”

You’re going to want to know all about the new people they’ve met. Names, ages, hobbies, where they're from...

“Your break is right around the corner”

Suddenly your cooking is the best in the world. Your kid wants a homecooked meal ASAP. Hello, Thanksgiving! 

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“Don’t forget where you came from”

Now that they’re educated they seem to think they’re better than me when they come home from college. No, parent, that’s not the case. Your child is being challenged and is thinking in ways they never have before, so embrace it. Even if they come off as arrogant at times. 

“I’ll send them a care package”

It’ll remind them of me and I can pack all their favorite snacks.

“You make me so proud”

Finally, at the end of the day, you take a deep breath and thank your lucky stars for such an amazing child. They make you a proud parent.

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