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Parents Of College-Bound Students – We’re Going To Be OK

This week, my husband and I attended an “accepted students day” event at my daughter’s intended college. I had so many conflicting emotions going into the event but came out with an entirely different perspective.

Natalie is my eldest child. So, this process has been a lot for me to handle. She is going to be the first baby to leave the roost, and it’s hard for me to swallow. I don’t want her to go, but I need her to leave. I’m sure you understand this as a parent.

Natalie needs to find her own path, spread her wings, and learn to make her own decisions without me orchestrating her every move. It will be much easier for this to happen away from home.

red dragon day

To Stay Or To Go

I’m not saying that every child needs to go away to college, but it is the best decision for my family. It is also incredibly hard to adjust to.

We are tightly woven – all thanks to my husband. We do EVERYTHING together. Throughout our lives, if someone went for a walk, we ALL HAD TO GO FOR A WALK. Admittedly, there were times that this “rule” annoyed me in the past! But looking back, it did create a very special bond.

Many years later, I am so very thankful for how Bill defined our family.

suny oneonta

But now, one of our children is about to break off and start on her own path. I want to throw up. I sometimes cry when I’m alone. Not because I don’t trust that she can do it, but because I don’t want my family to separate. I like the way we are. All crunched together on our couch during movie night. It’s ours.

This process is really just the beginning of all of them leaving. What if my babies move to different cities? I think I will collapse and implode if any one of them does. I won’t be ok.

oneonta mom

A Hard Year

So, when I tell you that the entire college process has been a heavy load on me, please believe me. I have had a very tough year internally. I’ve been incredibly stressed running fictitious scenarios through my head over and over again. Will I lose her? What if I lose her? Will she ever come home again?

I’m sure there are some people out there who can understand what I am saying.

Please also note that I grew up living with my ENTIRE FAMILY. Grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousin, and my mom – one HOUSE. It’s all about family for me.

suny oneonta student


So, you’ve looked under my hood and now understand the unhealthy grip I have on my kids. I think you have some idea about how hard senior year has been for me at this point. But guess what? Plot twist! I’m not nervous anymore.

After attending this event at Natalie’s college, I can see it. Her future. The safety net the school will provide. The unlimited services that are available to her and the incredible experiences she has awaiting her – all of which I would never be able to provide.

It’s going to be great. My daughter is about to have the adventure of her life… and I won’t be a part of it. That’s ok. It’s what’s supposed to happen.

I heard about all the wonderful programs she can sign up for – internships, trips, clubs, and extra-curricular opportunities – and I beamed from the inside. It’s all so exciting, and it’s about to become her actual life. WOW! What a blessing.

We Will Still Be A Part Of It… But From A Far

I hope to be the first phone call she makes when something incredible happens. I hope to see every picture she takes. I will stalk her social media like nobody’s business. I will also beg for constant updates because it is never easy to get rid of me. But I am stepping back. I am letting go. I am giving her the space she needs to become the woman she is destined to blossom into.

I cannot wait to meet her.

It’s going to be ok.


Wednesday 26th of April 2023

I just spotted your post by accident - not sure how I stumbled across it - but I'm glad I did. My daughter is moving out of state this fall for college, and I feel all of these emotions. Thank you for your comforting words.

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