It’s that time of year again! Though you may have had an amazing summer with your older ones, it is time to send them off to school again, or maybe for the very first time. Though saying goodbye doesn’t get any easier, no matter how many times you send your kids off, we have some College Advice (especially for the helicopter Mother that my girls think I am) to ease you through the process.
Asking For a Friend
Daughter: I got most of my info about dorms and interest courses (some may call them bird-courses) to take from my older friends who were already at the same school as me. Making a connection with an older (and wiser) student is definitely easier than figuring it out yourself.
Mom: I asked my friends and family for tips and advice before helping my daughters choose a College and about the differences in Dorms. We went on SEVERAL school tours to ensure that our daughter’s were sure about their school preference and that they felt comfortable.
K.I.T (Keep in Touch) With The Helicopter Mother
Daughter: As long as you have a working phone, it isn’t hard to keep in touch with friends from high school and elsewhere. I try to call my parents once a day or every couple days to let them know I’m still alive.
Mom: This is a good segway into College Advice about data allowances. Make sure you and your child are on the same page with data use. You don’t want to disconnect them if they are over-using. Download apps to ensure that you are on top of your data usage. As a Helicopter Mother, I like to share my location but my daughters do not like to reciprocate (I am not sure why??)
College Advice For A Healthy Lifestyle
Daughter: I have never been a Gordon Ramsay around the kitchen and I was nervous to have to start preparing my own healthy meals. However, a healthy lifestyle does not have to be that complicated. I always make sure to buy lettuce, vegetables and different types of protein and it is as easy as that- a different salad for everyday! I’m also grateful that my mother does some of the legwork for me. She cooks me food in advance, so eating healthy is only a microwave-click away. As well, you should never feel like there is not enough time to exercise. Academics are important, but so is your health, so make time for breaks to workout. I like to wind down during exam season and do some yoga, which both relaxes me and gives me energy!
Mom: Have you been meal-prepping with your kids? If not, my College Advice is to start now! Vital skills include; how to meal prep, grocery shop, clean out the fridge, do laundry and change the linens regularly. See what options your school offers for meal plans, I always send up small prepared meals that can be kept in the freezer. PS. I also sent my daughters away with a mini fridge to keep in their rooms. Even if they don’t always eat the food I send, I know that they have options while they are away. We invested in an on-campus gym membership so when my girls felt that they needed a break, they had somewhere they could go to expend energy.
Safety, Scheduling and Courses
Daughter: It’s easy to go to bed early at home, but for me, I find this much more difficult to achieve at school. While living with friends, there are much more nightly distractions than at home. There are also more late-night-studying sessions at school than at home that will keep you up much later. Never underestimate how much time you need to sleep and do not book morning classes if you feel that they are too difficult to wake up for. As well, schedule with friends! Although my roomate and I are in different programs, we coordinate the timing of our classes so we can carpool together and even make time to have lunch and cook dinner together!
Mom: Try to help your child select courses that optimize their time during their day. If campus is far from their living area, then you may want them to be on campus longer during the day time. Evening classes are a little trickier for the worrying mom. I investigated how my girls were getting to and from class in the dark. At both of my daughter’s schools, they offer bus services, and a campus nighttime “SafeWalk” program, in which an older student accompanies them back to their destination if they ever feel unsafe after a night-class.
Allowing Your Child to Go by Allowing Yourself to Let Go
As a mother, my kids are my life, and I personally like to keep them as close as possible by keeping tabs on them. When my kids are no longer in my house, I find it difficult to let go! I love them so much and I just need to know what they’re up to!
I have helped myself ease my grip by using a kite analogy. When my kids were younger, I kept a tight grip on my kite. I couldn’t let my kite get blown away into the intense push of the wind! As I see my kids get older, I now know it is time to loosen my grip on the kite, and as winds pick up, allow it to fly farther from me, up and up into the sky. Even though the kite may be tethering ten feet above me, I still keep a tight grip by keeping in contact with my kids and letting them know I love them even though they’re not close in proximity.
Hailey Kobrin and Mia Kobrin Contributed to this article!
Images taken by @lil.xuan
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