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Parents of college freshman?

suesam

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So how is everyone doing? We are doing better than I expected.
DH, DS and I went to Notre Dame on Friday and DS moved into his dorm. This weekend was not only move in but also freshmen orientation so there were many activities for parents and students. Saturday morning, after his first night in his dorm room he was pretty much panicked. Not so sure about his roommates and all of his high school friends had been calling him from the college they all attended together making him feel left out and home sick. The nice part is he was a delight to be around on Saturday. :whoopie: I enjoyed him thoroughly. I gave him all of my wisdom about making friends and about adjusting and he actually seemed to listen. He let me hug him several times all day long and told me he loved me. He has been kind of a PIA all summer so this was such a treat.

On Sunday he started to feel a little bit better and still pretty appreciative of us. :banana: When we left we had a few tears on my part, he and DH were choked up but contained themselves. Truthfully I have done pretty darned well. I am just so thrilled that he is acting so nice to me! He e-mailed me yesterday a very short but very sweet e-mail and again I was very, very thankful. I talked to him on the phone last night and he said he was making friends and feeling better. Whenever I feel sad, which truthfully has not been too often, I think of the college president's words during his speech, "if your child has made it this far you have done a really good job and you need to trust them, and us,to carry on" I also take comfort in the fact that he has been sweeter in the last 3 days than in the last 8 years!! He started to have an attitude at 12! He has always been a really good kid, great student, stays out of trouble, teachers love him, but he and I have been like oil and water, too much alike I suppose.

I suppose I should thank him for having such an attitude this summer, it sure is making this adjustment easier for me! I actually feel closer to him now than I have all summer!

How is everyone else doing?

Sue
 

pcgirl54

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suesam-our last one graduated this year so I am not a newbie.

The oil and water may continue on and off if they feel we cross the"I am now a grown up" line. Senior year in HS it starts and you begin to wish you could drop them off then. And then there are the many times we cry because they are going. I firmly believe this gives us the courage to let go. Think of the mama bird that pushes the baby bird out of the nest to learn to fly.

They have to get mad at us in order to have the courage to seperate from us because there will be no one around to blame as we "parents" are easy targets.

Our sons were eager to go to college and have made life long friends post college. Our first son did the push and pull " I don't need you" for the first two years after being a close family. I warned his brothers they better not do this to me and they were pretty good.

Holidays- When they come back home to visit sometimes they get uppity as at college there is no curfew and at home there are some rules. What do you want to do when they want to come home in the wee hours just like college? Now you begin to once again listen for the car in the driveway after learning to finally sleep soundly. Nice to sit down as adults and discuss what is negotiable and what is not. Curfew and picking up after oneself are two of the topics that come to mind.

I always called before we visited. No drop ins and no morning visits. Roommates may be sleeping or they went to an all night party.Dorm rooms were loaded with clothes /towels piled on the floor so there is no clear place to walk. The dorm room is their domain and I learned to ignore it.

Send gift packages often especially at exam time for those all nighters. I ordered birthday cakes that were delivered to their room from student services.

When they came home I used to peek in to their room when they were asleep knowing I had them back for a little while. I hated seeing them leave and even though all have graduated I feel the same way when they visit. All have started careers and are doing well.
 
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Patri

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We have a college freshman for the 4th time (LOL, not the same kid). She is at a large university and many people in our small town tried to talk her out of it.
Since Friday she has met many nice kids, laughed, gotten lost once, gone to a fun welcome party for freshmen, bonded with the new roommate she corresponded with over the summer and gotten first impressions of her classes. She is happy.
This is an amazing time for our children. I do find them growing closer with us, maturing, etc. as they exercise steps to independence. And it is also a time of relief for me and DH, since as juniors and seniors in high school they drifted off into their own worlds anyway, so wrapped up in activities and peers. It is like the college years come at just the right time.
We have one left at home, though, and the house it too quiet. :shrug:
 

Linda74

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Notre Dame!!! Congratulations!!! Our son was in a terrible automobile accident two weeks before he was to leave for college. Miraculously he escaped major injury. I think that that episode made me realize I wasn't "losing him", he was just moving on to college, for which we had prepared and planned all of his life. As they become more entrenched in college life, you may hear a little less from them....but you can be sure that when they need your advice or to talk, you will hear from them and that has always made me realize we have done what we were supposed to do as parents: get them ready for independence but be there for support and advice.
 

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Suesam, We just visited ND a couple weeks ago; our daughter is going to be a senior, and she wants to go to Notre Dame over all her other choices. My sister was a grad student there, and I lived in South Bend for a couple years in the '70s. He's going to love it there!

Congratulations, you've done well to get him to that place in his life; now it's his turn.
 

wackymother

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We dropped oldest DD off at RPI (that's Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY) last Tuesday. We've gotten one four-line e-mail and had a two-minute phone conversation in the days since.

It's actually driving me crazy, not because I want to chat, but b/c I sent her some stuff she forgot to pack, and I want to know if she got it! I'm assuming she made it to her first classes...on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. But I don't HAVE to know about that. I do need to be reassured that she got her backpack and her toothpaste! :eek:
 

pjrose

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DS is now at Albright College in Reading PA. Move-in day was Thursday - amazingly efficient, with hordes of upbeat chirpy orientation assistants emptying the van in less than a minute, and carrying everything up to the third floor. We had it all unpacked and organized in good time. He and the roommate are very different, but DS is pretty easygoing and it'll probably work out. I do worry that he'll spend too much time with the TV and XBox that roommie brought - we never allowed TV in the kids' rooms, and don't own a game system. Unless that becomes a problem, I'm confident that he'll do well academically.

They had 4 days of orientation activities; I was concerned that he wouldn't bother to go but he said they had to. I just hope he'll go to meals - he didn't go to lunch his last two or three years of high school! He has the metabolism of an iguana, and will likely lose, rather than gain, the "freshman 15". He's definitely the "eat to live" type, and when he's busy with a project he doesn't want to be bothered with food.

When we left at the end of the day, he tolerated a few hugs and kisses from me. I've gotten a handful of texts and IMs several times a day - always when he wants something. It'd be nice to just get a "hi mom" - sniff. Oh well, the little guy who used to sit in my lap and give me hugs is still in there somewhere.....
 

falmouth3

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Hi Wacky,
Quite a different flavor here than on a similar thread oy, isn't it? ;)

I have no children so I can't precisely relate on a personal note. My DS cried when she dropped her boys off at school 10 miles away. It seems to be more traumatic on parents than on the kids.

BTW, my first husband was my HS sweetheart and he went to RPI. I spent many weekends there, a long, long time ago.

Sue
 

wackymother

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They had 4 days of orientation activities; I was concerned that he wouldn't bother to go but he said they had to. I just hope he'll go to meals - he didn't go to lunch his last two or three years of high school! He has the metabolism of an iguana, and will likely lose, rather than gain, the "freshman 15". He's definitely the "eat to live" type, and when he's busy with a project he doesn't want to be bothered with food.
Wow, your son is a lot like my DD! I know DD wouldn't have gone to the orientation activities if she had any option. :eek: And she's a non-eater, too...eating is just more trouble than it's worth, apparently.

One of the pictures that's on all of RPI's materials is a picture of a waffle with the initials RPI in the middle. DD likes waffles, so every time we talked about food, the conversation ended with, "Well, you can always go eat an RPI waffle!"
 

senorak

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We took our oldest child to college for "move in day" last Wednesday. I cried off and on during the last few days of him being home.....just couldn't bear the thought of him leaving. His younger siblings decided to stay home while we took him to the school, (less than 2 hours away), as the youngest said he wouldn't be able to "stand to say goodbye" to his brother. Moving him in was fine.....I was kept busy w/ organizing his room---looked awesome, (He's rooming w/ a friend from home)...but I'm sure it's a mess now. We went out to dinner in town, then said our goodbyes...which was when I finally broked down in front of my son. I cried the entire ride home. My youngest has been emotional at night----he shares/shared a bedroom w/ his brother for years. It's difficult for him to go to bed alone now....even tho one of our dogs has been keeping him company.

DS has been in contact with us via cell phone and texting. It's nice to be able to have that "instant access"...and yet, it makes us realize how much we miss him. (Both sons were texting each other over the weekend: "What are you doing?" "Crying b/c I miss you" "You know I love you"....it was so poignant....and I started crying reading the texts). He's had some "issues" with his computer hookup....was fine when we moved him in.....and is trying to switch one of his classes...but other than that, things seem to be going fine. He has called me for info re: various passwords to his accounts on campus, (told him to check the info sheet I made for him), and the computer problem. I told him that I can't help him from my end...he needs to take care of things himself using the various on campus support.

He has several of his friends from high school with him on campus, and spent 3 days attending various "freshmen orientation activities". Said he is coming home for Labor Day weekend, (his roommate has a car), since they don't have classes on Monday. I know we are all looking forward to seeing him.

I will admit that the house is much quieter now that he and his friends are at college. I miss the noise, but DH is enjoying the silence. My laundry load has lessened significantly...and food/drink is lasting much longer. :D My younger son is relying more on friends his own age, (rather than his brother and his friends). Daughter seems to be taking it the best....no crying, trying to help lessen the impact on the youngest. We have "parent's weekend" coming up already on the 12th-14th.....so I'm looking forward to spending time w/ him on campus....and the younger ones are eager to see where their brother is now living.

DEB
 

Luanne

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I must be the most cold-hearted mom on the planet. :rolleyes: Younger dd will be starting her fourth, and final year, at a high school boarding school that is on the other side of the country. I haven't cried at all each of the former three times we've left her there. And this year I'm not even going for the drop off, dh will be doing it. :wave:
 
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LisaH

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I must be the most cold-hearted mom on the planet. :rolleyes: Younger dd will be starting her fourth, and final year, at a high school boarding school that is on the other side of the country. I haven't cried at all each of the former three times we've left here there. And this year I'm not even going for the drop off, dh will be doing it. :wave:
Luanne, you are not alone!
We just dropped off my older son at Tulane and came home last night. I was worried that I might lose control and cry, but in the end, it was not even a drop of tear. We parted with smile and a simple hug.

The three days there had been really good. The moving and orientation activities were very well organized. My son found his roommate through facebook and it seems that they are a pretty good match. Both are easy-going, serious about study enough to request being placed in a quiet(relatively speaking) & non-drinking dorm but not too serious to be obsessed about it. I called him after we landed in SFO last night and I heard lots of background noise. Seems like they have already made a few friends and were hanging out in some other kids' room.

So far, he likes Tulane a lot. Everyone seems to be very friendly and laid-back. Hope he feels the same way in a couple of weeks.
 

stmartinfan

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Fun to read about everyone's experience. My daughter moves some stuff in tomorrow and moves in for good on Saturday. She's only 30 minutes away, but I'm hoping we won't see her for several weeks. At her orientation this summer, the college told parents that it's important for kids to spend weekends on campus the first month or two, because that's the time period when kids form their groups of friends. If you're not there, you are less likely to get linked into a group of buddies. Because many students at the college are originally from the metro area, it's too easy for kids to head home or hang out with HS friends. Luckily, most of my daughter's best HS friends are going to colleges out of town, so she's ready to make some new friends. In fact, she already organized going to a Twins game last week with kids she met during orientation.

Her younger sister has been celebrating her departure for a couple of weeks - they have a love/hate relationship. It will be interesting to see how much she misses DS when she's actually gone.
 

pjrose

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Wow, your son is a lot like my DD! I know DD wouldn't have gone to the orientation activities if she had any option. :eek: And she's a non-eater, too...eating is just more trouble than it's worth, apparently.

One of the pictures that's on all of RPI's materials is a picture of a waffle with the initials RPI in the middle. DD likes waffles, so every time we talked about food, the conversation ended with, "Well, you can always go eat an RPI waffle!"

Hi Wacky,

He just texted me that ice cream makes a good dinner. Let's see....dairy, fat, sugar, chocolate - definitely some of the major food groups.

I wonder if I can get a report of how much he's used his dining card. If he's not using it much, I might opt for a lower meal plan next term.
 

pjrose

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...the youngest said he wouldn't be able to "stand to say goodbye" to his brother. ... My youngest has been emotional at night----he shares/shared a bedroom w/ his brother for years. It's difficult for him to go to bed alone now....even tho one of our dogs has been keeping him company.

...Both sons were texting each other over the weekend: "What are you doing?" "Crying b/c I miss you" "You know I love you"....it was so poignant....and I started crying reading the texts)
Deb -

Is your DS in PA? What school?

I envy the great relationship your kids have. My two really don't seem to like each other very much. They were great together till around 6 years old or so, but not after that. It's not that they dislike each other - they just exist on different planets. One would like to have a good relationship with the other, but the other couldn't care less. Sigh.

I hope that having DS gone will help DD shine; she's been in his shadow a lot at school.
 

pjrose

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I must be the most cold-hearted mom on the planet. :rolleyes: Younger dd will be starting her fourth, and final year, at a high school boarding school that is on the other side of the country. I haven't cried at all each of the former three times we've left her there. And this year I'm not even going for the drop off, dh will be doing it. :wave:
Luanne - if I could go back in time, we would have done boarding schools too. I don't know about cold-hearted, but I know I'd be more sane.
 

Luanne

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Luanne - if I could go back in time, we would have done boarding schools too. I don't know about cold-hearted, but I know I'd be more sane.
It looks like she may be in boarding school in your neck of the woods. ;)
 

wackymother

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Hi Wacky,

He just texted me that ice cream makes a good dinner. Let's see....dairy, fat, sugar, chocolate - definitely some of the major food groups.

I wonder if I can get a report of how much he's used his dining card. If he's not using it much, I might opt for a lower meal plan next term.
There's no lower meal plan at RPI...partly b/c it's about 70 percent boys. There are three plans that are within about $75 per semester of each other. The most expensive is called "Absolute Security" and involves, basically, wall-to-wall food availability, from six in the morning to about one in the morning. I guess between one and six they start gnawing on the dorm furniture. :p

The school we visited that had the BEST dining plan was Vassar. The kid gets an allowance, and if she eats an apple and a glass of milk, they take off the cost of an apple and a glass of milk.

Ice cream sounds fine and dandy to me, too. We went way out of our way to buy DD the little dorm fridge with a REAL freezer so she could keep ice cream in it!
 

pjrose

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..... The most expensive is called "Absolute Security" and involves, basically, wall-to-wall food availability, from six in the morning to about one in the morning. I guess between one and six they start gnawing on the dorm furniture. :p

The school we visited that had the BEST dining plan was Vassar. The kid gets an allowance, and if she eats an apple and a glass of milk, they take off the cost of an apple and a glass of milk.

Ice cream sounds fine and dandy to me, too. We went way out of our way to buy DD the little dorm fridge with a REAL freezer so she could keep ice cream in it!
DD would definitely want "Absolute Security." She's already on the 5 AM to 1 AM plan at home. I'll bet her "freshman 15" would be the "freshman 50".

I don't know about Vassar's plan....I'd be afraid a frugal student would go hungry to save money.

DS's mini-fridge has a pretty good sized freezer - it looks like it'd hold four of the oval-shaped tubs of ice cream. There are two grocery stores in walking distance, and his roomie has a car, so all he'll need is a spoon. I'd better start sending him ice cream coupons!
 

vacationhopeful

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Unless you had a major locking system on your home's refrigerator and freezer, today's teenager microwaves any and everything in your house that they wanted to eat. I bet they even could order takeout, online, and delivered to the house food, too. Your fear of the freshman 15 or 50 is, IMO, unrealistic.

My generation would NEVER had touch any food between meals as it was inventoried. Us kids could mentally divide the food on the table into equal shares by age 5; there were no discussions ever on losing weight as even 5 pounds overweight didn't happen.

So, to my peers to have large calorie laden, fat overloaded and unlimited food was a dream of realized .... hence, the freshman 15 (didn't have car, walked more) or freshman 50 (my roommate).
 

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Well, we have one day left to go. We take DD to college on Thursday. Most of her friends have left already, and we're all kind of feeling like "let's get on with it." Especially since her 2 younger siblings started school today. It was really strange for her not to get up and go for the first day of school. I think she is both excited and nervous about leaving on Thursday.

Her roommate found her on Facebook before the letter arrived here. I think DD was a little worried at first since they don't seem to have a lot of interests in common, but they have talked a good bit since, and I think it will be ok. They are both in the honors program and on a floor of only students in the program, so they will at least have the honors activities in common.

DD swims year-round except for an annual break in August. The last several summers she has become aware of what happens when she doesn't swim, but still eats like she does the rest of the year. Each August she has put on about 4 or 5 pounds, although she quickly loses them when she starts swimming again in September. Anyway, it has been a good lesson to her about the reality of calories eaten vs. calories expended. She will be swimming in college, so hopefully that will also help her avoid the freshman 15.

Hopefully, Thursday will be a good day. I never cried when any of the children went off to kindergarten or anything like that, although I was a bit teary at her graduation and some of those activities. I think we'll be fine- we'll see soon!
 

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It sounds to me that most people do not find this near as traumatic as I thought it might be. I still am not feeling too sad, and due to the fact he was too busy to call me yesterday I am thinking ds is fine! He wrote me an e-mail saying he would call this morning but he was just too busy yesterday, he had ONE class and went to buy books. Now that book price , wow, that was a shocker but that is another thread.

Ok. I have to admit it is a relief to have him out of sight, out of mind. He does not have a car because freshman can not have cars. None of his new friends have cars. :banana: He and I are not butting heads all day every day and I like it !!! Frankly it was just time for him to move on and have other challenges and explore the world. I feel good about that. DH and I tried really hard to be the best parents we could possibly be and now it is up to him to do what he is going to do. I think he is very relieved to have us off of his back as well.

I am so glad all of you other parents are out there to share all of this with.

Sue
 

senorak

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My son is at Bloomsburg...less than 2 hours drive for us.

Yes, my kids, especially the two boys, are very close. Even with the age difference, (18 and 11), they have always spent a lot of time hanging out together....playing videogames, sports, (especially baseball, basketball and football), and now are golfing together. My daughter is closer to her younger brother, (she's age 13). Tends to fight more w/ the older one....which would explain her blase attitude about him being at college.

DEB
 

pjrose

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My son is at Bloomsburg...less than 2 hours drive for us.

Yes, my kids, especially the two boys, are very close. Even with the age difference, (18 and 11), they have always spent a lot of time hanging out together....playing videogames, sports, (especially baseball, basketball and football), and now are golfing together. My daughter is closer to her younger brother, (she's age 13). Tends to fight more w/ the older one....which would explain her blase attitude about him being at college.

DEB
He'll like Bloomsburg. The PA SSHE schools are a nice compromise between the benefits of a big university and the friendlier feel of a smaller school.

I think the age difference may be a big factor - the younger one likely looks up to the older one, and who can resist being idolized?
 

Karen G

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It has been fun reading everyone's experiences as we did the same thing last year when we took our youngest child--our son--down to Arizona State in Tempe, AZ. He had a lot of fun last year--too much fun, apparently. He failed about half of his classes and did okay in the other half.

Now he's living at home, working part-time, and this week he started classes at the local community college. It's nice to have him home again and it's saving us a boatload of money in out-of-state tuition. :whoopie: We're just praying that he'll find some field of study that excites him.
 
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