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During an early morning walk recently, my husband I are happened upon some friends we hadn’t seen since our kids were in middle school. They are sending their first and only child off to college this fall, and we are sending off our youngest and last child. We immediately started catching up on our girls’ lives – how they had liked high school, what sports they participated in, how they grew up so fast, etc. Then came the “college topic.” Since I already have two children in college, I must admit that I felt like an old pro about the common questions my friends asked me such as: What is it like to have a roommate for the first time? What are the dorm rooms like? Was it easy to make new friends? What is dorm food like? Is it difficult to find a quiet place to study? And of course, how did my kids and I adjust to being separated from each other for months at a time?! I soon realized that although each of our kids is a unique individual with special talents and ambitions (aptly articulated over and over again during the college application process), we, as parents, share the same thoughts, worries, and hopes.
The summer before freshman year is a time of excitement, anticipation, worry, insecurity, nervousness and preparation all rolled together, no matter if you are sending child number one or child number three (or even more!) off to college. For me, this particular summer seems to be especially amplified with all of those feelings. Although in one way I feel like an expert in knowing how to get another daughter prepared for going away to college, I know I am also entering uncharted territory in getting myself ready for my last child to begin her college journey. I can’t wait to see what this next college year brings!
Here’s to staying connected with our kids, from hometowns to college towns.