Post College Move In Day Blues

The nest is quiet after college move in

It’s day 3 after moving our daughter into college for the first time and all I can hear is Zoe snoring beside me as she takes her 5th nap of the day.  It’s a tough life for a dog!

Our baby bird has officially begun her first day of college classes today and so far we only checked in with her once (today).

I must say move in day on Sunday went well.  We arrived early enough in the morning and there were plenty of student helpers  that it took a total of 10 minutes to get everything unloaded and in her dorm room.  A few hours later she was all unpacked, her walls were decorated with pictures of her friends, and clothes hung.  Her roommate had moved in the week before being in band, so we were there by ourselves until she got there with her parents early afternoon.

Time to say goodbye

After lunch and attending a parent informational meeting, it was time to say goodbye.  Surprisingly this went incredibly well.  No tear was shed then or on the ride home or even that night.  I was more excited for her than anything as I knew the next couple of days would be filled with the typical meet and greet activities that they were required to attend.

And now reality sets in for Mom

Then came the post move-in day hangover.  It came in the form of a slightly queasy  feeling the next morning.  As I had my morning coffee the worrying set in and the questions started to come up in my head.

  • Will she be okay?
  • Will she get along with her roommate?
  • Will she get extremely homesick?
  • What happens if she has a hard time making friends?
  • What happens if she hates it?

None of this worrying had anything to do with her classes.  She was a great student in High School and developed good study habits, so essentially I think she will be okay with the academic side of college life.  It’s just the social side that worries me. I will admit that this first day was a little rough on me although I didn’t want to admit it.

I  tried to keep my distance (although it was driving me crazy) until her first text came through later in the day.  “Mom, where is the fingernail clippers?”  Much of the organizing and packing I did as things were purchased so I knew right where it was.  Needing to know, I asked how things were going and she replied saying good, but very busy and she didn’t sleep well the night before cause it was hot in their dorm room. Surprisingly this text made me feel a whole lot better.

Time for a therapeutic cleaning

On day 2 I did what any newly empty nest Mom does….clean the child’s room.  Bedding, curtains, and any clothes thrown on the floor were washed.   School papers that were just deposited all around on her last day of High School were gone through.  I dusted, moved furniture, vacuumed, and organized.  Doing this seemed to almost be therapeutic in a way. Like I was letting go and hanging on at the same time. This took a good chunk of the day to do and I ended up with 2 garbage bags full of stuff for her to go through when she comes home for her first break.

After the clean bedding was put back on and the job was complete, I curled up on her  chair and sat there and looked at her endless bookshelves and thought about so many things.  Where did the time go?  What happened to that 4 year old with the blond curls and mischievous smile?

Endings and beginnings

This has been the summer of  endings and  beginnings. In my head this ending was something I dreaded all summer.  The end of knowing that she would be home almost every night.  The end of knowing what she was doing most of the time.  Now the endings are replaced by beginnings.  The beginning of having to let go and let her be responsible for her future.  The beginning of a new and exciting future for her.  It is time to let go of the endings and focus on the beginnings.

Oh I know it will be some time before I stop worrying if she is adjusting to college life and I know that she will always need our advice and guidance. In time I will adjust to the empty room and quiet house. After all I still have a happy furry snoring Zoe right by my side.  She’s no purple curly haired 18 year old with a mischievous smile, but she’s the next best thing.


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  1. Paulette Hausler | 8th Sep 16

    Brought tears to my eyes…all this is too familiar.

    • Lori Helke | 8th Sep 16

      Paulette, I love it when you comment on my posts!!!

  2. kylieuk | 9th May 17

    Interesting to hear it for the parents perspective! I write a lot about how it felt for me moving away but I can imagine my Mum feeling exactly the same as you! (Although kudos to you, we all cried and were a right mess!)

    • Lori Helke | 9th May 17

      It is so hard to see the kids grow up and leave the nest, but it is rewarding to see what fine people they turn out to be. I imagine your Mum is very proud of you too and misses you a lot!!

  3. kylieuk | 9th May 17

    🙂 She’s probably getting bored of FaceTiming for an hour every single day!

    • Lori Helke | 9th May 17

      Haha!! I highly doubt that!!

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