My oldest child just left for college

[deleted account] ( 45 moms have responded )

I always wanted to see my son go to college and get a good education. Now that day has come and I am still having a hard time with his absence.. Is there anyone else who is going through this same thing or has went through it that can give me some good advice?

Thank You
Lisa

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Jennifer - posted on 10/05/2013

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I have tears in my eyes as I write this...my only son moved to college in Sept and I feel like my purpose in life is over. All I have wanted is to be his mom and as a single parent I guess I was his dad too. We did so many things together and were such good friends. I am so proud of him. He was valedictorian and already is being noticed by his profs as a student with promise and has been recommended for special programs. He is so excited to be able to study in his field (politics) and have others who are also interested and challenge him. He is incredibly happy and I am excited for him...but I am lost..and I too feel that I need to remind every parent I see to embrace every minute with their child because they will all to soon leave the nest!

[deleted account]

My son is leaving for college this summer. I simply can't imagine him not being here. I get teary eyed just thinking about him moving on, but I KNOW he should and he will. He's a great kid and I'm so very proud of him. I just need to figure out a way to keep it together so I don't freak him out on drop off day! I fully plan on having my teary moments and I think I'm allowed to feel this way. My tears come from his absence but also from a sense of being immensely proud of him and his accomplishments. I'll make it through this just like all of you have done! It's just nice to see others feel like I do. Thanks for being there and sharing your stories.

Bemum - posted on 10/28/2013

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Hey Lisa, I hope this article helps:
5 Tips for Parents to Connect with College Kids
After years of studying, researching and saving up, the day has come when your child has finally gone away to school. So now what? How can you stay supportive without being too intrusive? Don’t worry, Empty Nesters, we’ve got you covered!

Read on for some helpful tips on how to stay connected with your college kids:

1. Lend an ear – as grown up as your children may feel, they still want you to listen as they vent about their messy new roommates, their tough course load or their demanding professors. They may not want you to step in and solve their problems for them like you did when they were younger, but they will take comfort in you being around to listen.

2. Send them treats – after trying the campus dining hall food, your kids sure would appreciate a delicious care package. If you don’t have the time and energy to cook yourself, just order online from College Cookies and your child will receive a dozen freshly baked, hand-made cookies and a personalized note.

3. Go social – your children may not always be able to talk on the phone, but they will mostly likely be available online. Connect on their favorite platforms like Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp and Instagram. Just remember to respect their space. Just because you can communicate with your children almost 24/7 doesn’t mean that you should.

4. Step into their world – spend some time walking on and off campus to help your kids feel more comfortable in their new surroundings. This is also a good chance for you to get to know some of their friends while exploring. Take them (and their friends) out for dinner around the campus; visit spots that get the best reviews on Yelp or Foursquare.

5. Invite them home – besides holidays and semester breaks, invite your children home for a random weekend. Let them do laundry and enjoy a favorite meal. They may not always admit to being homesick, but they truly will appreciate the love and support of family. To make them feel extra special, greet them with a “Welcome Home” sign.

For more tips, check out the Guide for Parents presented by the NYU Langone Medical Center

Frank - posted on 10/27/2013

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I am a dad I know most of you are women my son has been gone a couple of months and I miss him extremely he and I were inseparable .ive tried to teach him everything it takes to be a man and now as I type this I realize that he is more of a man than I can ever be .He comes home every now and then and when he does It feels like there is someone visiting .I miss my boy so much but I am so proud of the man he turned into

Sonia - posted on 09/05/2012

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Lisa,

I'm feeling the same way my, I have 3 daughters my oldest graduated from a local college so she stayed home, and is now married, my middle daughter went off to college 2 years ago, she is staying at the college dorm..I cried so much when she left, but I felt that I still had my youngest one at home that still needed me. Well now my youngest one left to college, I feel so lonely and my house is so empty..I find myself not wanting to be home..I know I will be fine within time, and I know that I need to get a hobby to keep me busy..So I am with you and know exactly what your going through..So I think we both need to keep busy and find a hobby or volunteer in different organizations. I just have not figured out what hobby would interest me.



Thank you,

Sonia

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Ricky - posted on 10/16/2013

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I guess I'm not supposed to write this on here but I couldn't find any other website to get help.. I'm a 21 years old male that just recently got kinda hired as a correctional officer and I said kinda because I have to graduate from the 5 weeks academy then I'm getting stationed at a unit where I am right now but the thing is.. I lived 14 hours away from here and I'm dying from the inside of not having my parents here, and it's a pain I can't describe.. I keep thinking all the good stuff and positive thoughts of me being here but in the other hand I keep thinking what if I don't graduate.. Or my car breaks down.. I don't have enough funds to cover all that.. I'm scared and I feel so alone because mostly of the people in the training are from this town or maybe an hour or so from here but they have their family close but for me.. Mine it's almost a day away from me and it's really killing me.. I wanna do this but at the same time I just wanna take a plane going back where I'm from.. I would really appreciated anything to help me deal with this..

Mama - posted on 09/30/2013

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My son went away to college, it was a last minute decision. It was going to be a local university, but at the last minute we decided to enroll him in a college 18 hours away by car and a $400 flight. It's only been a month now and I miss him so. I was tearing up while walking down the cereal aisle in the supermarket. I am a single parent, my college age daughter is at home...but I miss my son. I miss watching him grow . I miss his thank you' and have a good day mom.

Megan - posted on 08/28/2013

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Definitely get teary eyed for a week before and two or more after. But I am also thrilled he is gettting such a wonderful opportunity.

Wish I would hear from him more often but try to look at it from his point of view... calling mom is just the last thing on a college kids mind. I send texts like: hey need to chat with you...when is the best time?

I sent small care packages every two weeks... made me feel more connected and he liked getting them... subway and dunkin donut gift cards were a huge hit.

The thing he liked best was this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BS9B... The kids in his hall called it THE CHAIR and everyone borrowed it. It was like a pet. I would always ask, Hows the chair and he would always have some funny story to share about it.

Lyn - posted on 08/27/2013

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my oldest son left for college and i feel heartbroken he as always being around. some days am doing good others days i just cry,my little girl says mommy your still crying,but i know for sure once you have faith and belieave in God that he will never leave us or forsake us.you will find peace.but its even as i say this but it's all for the best

Correen - posted on 09/21/2012

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Hi Lisa, My son left for the Military, Boot camp for the Navy this week. I was dreading it, and I know why. I am miserable. I knew I would be....I too am lost looking for suggestions.

Lois - posted on 09/19/2012

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My eldest son of four is off to uni this sat... It feels like a bereavement to me... My husband of seven years is not allowed to come with me... Previous husband wants it just me and him....I am so very sad and conflicts with me being very happy... I cannot cope.... I feel like I am drowning...

La Donna - posted on 08/11/2012

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I'm going through this now for the first time. We actually leave tonight from Milwaukee, WI to move our daughter to Purdue University in Indiana. I am divorced but I am best friends still with my ex. I never thought I would have these feelings and I keep trying to find out where the 18 years went! I find myself at times noticing moms with their young daughters and wanting to approach them and tell them to REALLY enjoy those precious years because they fly by. I know I will get through this and before I know it these 4 college years will be over too. Life is just so short and time does not stand still!!

Lori - posted on 04/23/2012

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I totally understand! I had 3 kids leave in 4 years! it does get better. However, I REALLY wanted to send some love and encouragement from home when our daughter left. (she was the first) so i went shopping for greeting cards to fill her mailbox with cards!!! Unfortunately, no cards existed that addressed the realities of her new college life. So...I created some! They were a big hit! I now love to encourage other College moms! We need encouragement! If you would like to see how the cards turned out..l put them on a website. All the best, Lori

http://myseedsoffaith.com/

Amy - posted on 09/05/2011

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I'm having a really hard time with my daughter leaving. She's also having a really hard time. She doesn't like it and is homesick which makes it really tough. She cries every Sunday saying she doesn't want to go back. I try to be encouraging saying it takes time to get used to new situations, but after she leaves, all I can do is cry and stress. I need some advice and encouragement too.

Cindy - posted on 08/29/2011

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I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty-handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances but they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth making

Don't let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
[- From :http://www.elyrics.net/read/l/lee-ann-wo... -]

I hope you dance
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder)
I hope you dance
(Where those years have gone)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

Dance
I hope you dance
(Dance)
I hope you dance
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance
(Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder)
I hope you dance
(Where those years have gone)

Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder
(Dance)
Where those years have gone

Cindy - posted on 08/29/2011

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I totally relate to this post Lisa, because I just sent my son off to school this past Thurs. I kept telling myself I was so happy for him, which I was, because he got into the school he wanted, it was exactly perfect fit for him, and just where he needed to be at this point in his life. but on the other hand we/he has been through so much, my divorce from his father, a custody battle with him ultimately fighting to live with me, and ocd as well. Now I am sending him away. So while I am happy for him, that he is happy, I am sad for me. I came home and saw reminders o fhim everywhere, there's his empty seat, there's his blanket, etc. And yes I too lost it on the way there in the car, as well as on the way home, leaving the house with him, entering the house alone, etc. Especially when in the car "I Hope You Dance" came on the radio. This is sort of my anthem to my kids and they know it.

Laura - posted on 06/13/2011

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It isn't as bad as you expect. For me the hardest part of my kid going to college was not being able to keep up. not seeing them go off to the game and not meeting his friends. I found this application called Pixable which tells me everytime he posts pictures on facebook or gets tagged in pictures and it really helps me keep up. It's not being there, but it's better than not seeing it.

Tiffany - posted on 10/11/2010

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Hi Lisa~I too wanted to have my child go away to college but now that it has happened I am having a very hard time with it as well. Everyone tells me it gets easier so I hope it does soon. However someone gave me this link and it was helpful. http://www.suite101.com/content/parentin...
Good luck!

Sonia - posted on 09/30/2010

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I feel ya. I had my son at 18 so we have always been close but, now it seems as if we aren't. I know i have to let him go but i'm sooo sad inside. I also look forward to going to work each day to keep me busy and my mind off him

Sonia - posted on 09/30/2010

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My son left for college on September 19th and ever since then we havent really talked. Every time i call or text him he says im studying ill talk to you later. He tells me i'm being dramatic.He is only about an hour and a half away but still I miss him and want to make sure he is ok and doing well. Any advice?

Renee - posted on 09/06/2009

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Our eldest son has been away for alittle over 2 weeks so far... his first year in college. He is about 4.5 hrs away from home. I was hoping he would of came home for the long holiday weekend, but he didnt. I was doing okay until this weekend where now his absence is noticable, with us being home and not working. I am hoping it gets easier,but for now, it hasnt. I am having a really hard time with it now. I am looking forward to going to work to keep my mind off of it.

Kristi - posted on 09/06/2009

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I just dropped my oldest off at college today. I had her when I was very young and we have always been extremely close. I feel like theres an elephant sitting on my chest. It just feels unnatural to leave her there! I wanna go back and get her, but at the same time I am so excited for her and all the possibilities that are open to her. Im trying really hard to focus on those things. But it hurts :(

Regina - posted on 09/05/2009

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My oldest left for college a few weeks ago.
Despite the tears and heartbreak of missing him, I must remember that this is what I raised him for. This is all part of adulthood and I'm thrilled to see who he is becoming.

Marie - posted on 09/05/2009

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I experience the same thing when my sons went off the college, and I hope for the best in life for them but they come back home eventually, fortunately for me they did not board they travel from home each morning, so I get to see them. At times we don't even speak because I am asleep when they come home because they work after school. my youngest don't even call me only on weekend I see him when he comes to visit me. So don't feel bad just be glad that he grows and is looking to make life for himself. U have don't a great job in bringing him this far. So take deep breath, relax and enjoy the space. It takes time. Hope this help some how.

Tracy - posted on 09/04/2009

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Hi Lisa, I am a mom of FIVE SONS and we dropped off our oldest son a few weeks ago at his college dorm. I wondered if I would cry. I wondered how I would feel. If I'm being honest, I thought I would be somewhat relieved: one less mouth to feed, one less person banging on the bathroom door, one less person to contribute to arguements with his brothers, etc... But, truth-be-told, I really miss him! I am reminding myself that he's a good kid, and we've done a good job with him, and he will be just fine. But, it's still hard to have him gone. Thanks to Facebook (and that he re-friended me after deleting me once because I made a typical "Mom" comment about his viewpoint on a controversial topic)....at least I can hear from him when he makes a post, even if it is nonsensical! I put a post on my Facebook page on the day we dropped him off that said "I hope I did a good job as a mom." My husband commented that "You are the perfect mom for our son, and look on the bright side, if we totally skrewed him up, we have four more chances to get it right!" UGH! Hang in there Lisa, you are not alone!

Tracy, Mom of Five Sons

[deleted account]

I can't really give you any advise since I am going through the same thing. I am just hoping that it gets easier with time.

Wanda - posted on 08/30/2009

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It's good to know I'm not alone! I just returned 2 days ago from taking my daughter (my oldest) to college almost 1700 miles away. Getting on that plane and coming home without her was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do!! I cried every day we were there, 4 times on the day I left and once yesterday. Not at all today - hopefully that means I'm getting better! We also invested in a web cam (and it helps that I talked to her today and saw that she is perfectly fine). I remember reading that we need to give our kids two things - roots and wings. Hopefully we've done both. She is in a good place (BYU) so I have comfort in knowing that at least the environment is good and she is surrounded by people with good morals. It also helps that she has a few friends there already. I can't wait until she's home for Christmas though! Good luck to you!

Terry - posted on 08/30/2009

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My daughter just finished her first week away at college. I did okay with moving her there and leaving that day; it's been harder at home now, going to the grocery store and not getting things for her, going in her room, etc. But thank goodness for the internet!! We can communicate every day, I can leave a quick note about things happening here, she can respond when she wants and not feel like I'm "nagging" her....I appreciate even more what my mom must have gone through when I went to college and she only received that once-a-week phone call! Hope things are getting easier for you Lisa!

Kim - posted on 08/27/2009

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I just sent mine away on August 23rd... It hurts so bad to lose them but they are only doing what we have raised them to do... what we gave them the courage and strength to do... what we have prepared them to do.... Now, we have to trust that they are ready. AND GET SKYPE.... it is the most adorable thing to get to see your baby boy make rice with his steamer for the 1st time.... good luck to you. (((((Hugs)))))))

Tracie - posted on 08/27/2009

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Oh PS, Thats my Niece In the picture, kinda like a grandchild to me, She lives in Oregon though. Maybe I should move somewhere where its not so hard to get anywhere else. LOL

Tracie - posted on 08/27/2009

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Thank you all so very much for you encouraging words. Like you I am too grieving the loss of my oldest. We Live in Alaska She went off to Hawaii, not so easy to get there, I too am giving her her space (as hard as it is) and I do fine when I dont think about it??? but when i do like now the tears well up and a lump forms in my throat. I dont know if it will get easier ? I guess we get used to it then look forward to grand kids Maybe??? I still have a 19yr old and a 16 yr old at home & provide Foster care but nothing prepared for the loss I felt putting Her on that plane,or the hole I often feel inside me, Incomplete would be a better word. I only hope I have grandkids before my youngest leaves, And they live close by.

Tammi - posted on 08/25/2009

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I went thru a very hard time when my oldest left for school, my only daughter. All I can do is tell you it gets better. Your relationship changes for the better. My daughter got married this year, my middle son graduated from High school, my youngest started middle school. Been a hard year here, but I am adjusting. Hang in there

[deleted account]

Oh No! I was hoping that I was making more of my daughter leaving than other people, but after reading these posts I am in very good company. We are leaving to take her to school (10 hour drive ) on thursday! I have a thirteen year old daughter at home still I am going to try to focus on spendin extra time with her, at least until she begs me to stop! :)

Lisa - posted on 08/24/2009

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My Oldest son left for college as well Wednesday. I was excited at first, now dealing with absence as well. Take comfort in knowing your son is in a good place, surrounded by other kids going through similar experiences. Check with your son's college to see if they have any programs in place that will help you connect with other parents. My son's college has family connections, receive periodic emails newsletters etc. To keep you posted on whats happening on campus. Take advantage of events such as Parents Weekend. I hope that helps, this is all new to me as well so i'm pretty much winging it.

Cynthia - posted on 08/24/2009

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My oldest went to college last year. (he will be a sophomore this year) I was very sad, proud, excited for him and worried all at the same time. I cried at the grocery store over the cantaloupes. Part of caring for a family is buying their favorites at the grocery store. I had no idea I still did so many little things for him. Abe has been fairly independent so I did not expect there to be such a hole. It was rough the first two weeks I promised not to bug him and let him have this very important experience. I am so glad that I gave him that even though it hurt. He sent cards on occasions, called and texted me with going ons at school. I think because I gave him space and respect he has given me the same. This summer home after his first year went surprisingly well. I will miss him when he leaves in six more day.

Tracey - posted on 08/23/2009

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Our daughter left yesterday and I feel your pain. Everyone keeps telling me it will get better but right now it doesnt seem that way. I wish that I had more to give you but I guess I'm in need of the about the same as you are. Good Luck and hang in there!

Chantel - posted on 08/23/2009

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Yes I am experiencing the same emotions. But I think with my situation is a bit different. I have a daughter who left for college. What I do is when I'm out I pick up little cards to express how much I miss her. Or pick up her favorite snack when I am going grocery shopping. Having a boy leave for college might think that is to girly, but it also helps me cope with my daughter being away. Alot of people say that I should be glad she gone and now I only have one daughter to worry about but to tell the truth I worry about 100 times more with her away. I guess time will heal this wound.

Linda - posted on 08/22/2009

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you can only take it one day at a time. hopefully he will appease you and your need to stay connected as much as possible as you ease into this new transition.

when he comes home on breaks you will be so elated,... but, the time to go back ultimately will come. it is hard to 'let go' again... and it will continue for the next year at least. each time he comes home, you will feel like ''yay!! things are right again".....

my oldest went off six years ago.... my two youngest have now both gone,too. one last year and one this year.

i still feel like it's their first day of school... kindergarden.... and i wanna hold their hand all the way there..... i can't..... obviously.... but, i do as much 'virtual' hand holding as I can in helping them prepare and make sure they know that i am always here, no matter what.

it does get easier.. but, i always will, selfishly i guess, prefer them to all be in the nest. i am so incredibly proud of all of them. ... and my oldest has just given me my third grandchild!! heaven!!

good luck... there are soooo many of us who truly understand what you are going thru.

Barbara - posted on 08/21/2009

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LIsa, I am sending my last off to college in less than a week and I have to say that this is more traumatic than the first one. The first one was having a hard time leaving so I had to be strong for her. My son however is much more independent and will also be almost 6 hours away. I have tried to keep busy with hobbies and things for me that I let go of when I had children. So if you have a hobbie that you have not done in a while, get back to it and if not do something just for you. It is still hard for me but every day gets better. I also find that keeping a journal helps me as well. I hope this helps you.



Barb

Kelly - posted on 08/19/2009

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Hi Lisa,

My oldest daughter went off to college last fall - 3000 miles away from home. For the last year of high school, I think I cried at least twice a week as I drove past her high school on my way to work! I was okay after she came home for Christmas, but before that, it was very hard. It was our first thanksgiving without her. Thankfully, we bought a camera for our computer, and downloaded Skype so that we could see her when we called (her laptop has a camera too). That helped. I know that you are in a lot of pain right now. (((HUGS)))

Kelly

[deleted account]

Well congrats to your daughter.. She is a senior there right?.. This will be such an important year for her.. What is her Major?.. So it's still hard even after four years.. That is something that I was thinking it would be.. Congrats to your son also.. So you have to deal with double loss.. I understand your feeling of emptiness and hopefully it will start to lighten up soon.. I am going to go check out the website link that you sent to me.. Lets both try to keep our spirits up and if you can try to keep a smile on your face for you son leaving soon :)

Stacie - posted on 08/19/2009

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My daughter is currently in college and leaves Sat. for her 4th year. With her I remember feeling sad that summer before she left, but it was awful when we had to leave the campus after dropping her off. I calmed down on the ride home, only to loose it again once I walked into the door. It got a little easier each day. Until now. Now I'm also dealing with my son, my only other child, leaving next week. I've been a basket case since about April when he decided where he was going, and dealing with each "last" event of school. I know I'll be ok eventually, but right now am feeling kind of empty. So no, you're not the only one going through this. I've also been browsing a web site www.emptynestsupport.com which has been somewhat helpful in relizing I'm not alone!

[deleted account]

My son left a week early to do a Leadership Safari and give him more time to learn the campus.. He has only been gone 4 days and I still go to his room and look at his empty bed and cry.. He is having fun and enjoying himself but I am sad and miss him.. It is really nice to have other moms to talk to about this and can relate to what I am going through.. I just want to thank you both for talking to me about this and sharing your stories.. I think we can all help each other through this.. Oh my son is attending Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan which is a 3 hour drive,so not close to home at all.

BERNADETTE - posted on 08/19/2009

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hi lisa, i have a daughter going into her second year of college but this time shes staying on campus. The frist year my nerves were on fire, it helped to see the school and ask question that i needed answers to. After the first week i felt a little better. she was coming home a same time, not giving me any reason to get nerves. I was able in time to get use to her leaving and if she had to come home late she would check in with me, so that i knew she was safe. Know the hard part,like you she is not staying home any more she is going on campus. Im happy and sad at the same time. We got everything ready and we will be going with her to move her in. It will be a short vist because classes start the next day . I know i will cry, she knows it to. but will call each other, not all the time , but i know she will try a little bit more in the begining because she knows how i feel. so my advise to you is to tell your son how you feel and together yous can help each other get thought it and tell him everything that you need to even if its about girls and protecting him self...tell all you need to.....tell him that what you have to say is important to you and even more important for him. i wish you all the luck i can give..............we are moms and as moms we have to keep our chichen self..

good luck,

bernadette

[deleted account]

Lisa, I also have a son leaving for college in 9 more days. I will take my camera with me and will take a picture of him in his dorm, so I can keep it with me to feel a little closer to him. I just keep telling myself, he is only a phone call or e-mail away! (Even though he will be a 7 hour drive away!)

My daughter, who is 1 1/2 years older, is still living at home althougth with her 2 jobs and being out with her friends, we barley see her.

I have "empty nest" badly! I got a dog to occupy my time. I take her to the dog park almost daily. It helps, but not always!

Good luck to you and your son!

Judy

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