Freshman move-in day is one of the most bizarre and emotional days in a person’s life. Not just for the student, but for the entire family. It’s the first day you really grow up and learn what it’s like to live on your own, and for parents, it’s the moment you let go of control over your children. The emotions everyone feels on move-in day are extremely diverse and change throughout the process. You’re excited, then you’re anxious, then you’re nervous, sad, lonely. You get relieved, feel free and independent, but lost all at the same time. The experience is different for everyone, but coming from a household of just my mom and me, this day was one of the hardest yet most exciting days I’ve endured thus far. Leaving my best friend, my mom, was something I didn’t think I would ever be ready for, but as time passes, you both become okay with the new situation. In many cases, parents and their children get closer after a semester or two away from home. Here are some different feelings you’ll feel as both students and parents when you, or your child, move into their first dorm for the first time and some of the things you’ll most likely go through your first year away from home. Spoiler alert: things don’t change as much, negatively, as you may assume they will, and this new place won’t be as scary for you as you once thought. Here are some ways of dealing with the changes as a student and a parent:
The occasional doubt in yourself and the feeling of not being needed anymore
The weeks leading up to my freshman move-in day, I felt this unbearable doubt in myself and my decision of committing to a school away from home. I laid awake at night for hours worrying about and overanalyzing my decision to leave home and the family who supported me through my whole life. I remember texting my friends who had already gone away to school the previous year asking them if they had ever felt this terrible regretting feeling before they left. More times than not, before we leave for college, students think they will regret their decision once they leave. I was the biggest “mommy’s girl” (still am) and homebody (still am) ever, and I can honestly say that going away to school was the best decision I’ve ever made. And to parents, you may feel as if you aren’t needed any longer because your child doesn’t live at home with you, but this is far from true. I’ve never felt as if I needed my mom more than when I first left, and this is because she was always my source of comfort. Your kids will always need you even if they don’t express it in the ways that you wish. Yeah, they may not need you to cook them meals every night, do their laundry, or pick up their rooms anymore, but they need you in a much larger way now; you will see.