You’ve waited so long for this day–your son or daughter is proudly off at college! In many ways, it is culture shock when a child leaves home for college and parents left behind may react in a variety of ways. If a parent is elated, they may immediately be measuring to turn the now vacant room into that hobby room they have always wanted. If a parent feels lonely and depressed, he or she may tend to sit home more often and wonder what to do with themselves. The goal for getting through this life change is to reach a happy balance.
Missing a loved one is okay—especially when you know that they are off bettering their lives. The key is to keep in touch with your student so that you don’t end up missing them toomuch. Now may be the time to learn instant messaging on the computer, or texting on a cell phone. Staying in contact with your student is very important, as is setting ground rules for how often you are going to communicate—maybe a phone call every Sunday evening when the family is together for dinner and a text or email once or twice during the week. Being able to communicate in a variety of methods gives you more freedom and will likely result in more effective communication with your student.
You’ve spent many years of your life raising your child and now, all that hard work has paid off. You deserve some time for yourself, so do something that you have always put off doing. Keeping busy will keep your mind focused and occupied so that you won’t have as much time to spend worrying about your student. If you don’t already have a job, this may be the perfect time to find one, even if it is just part time. You will not only earn some extra money, but may make new friends or learn a new skill.