It's that time of year when your child is preparing to leave for their first year of college. If this is the first time you've ever sent a kid of to college, you're probably feeling a whole cocktail of emotions right now. From excitement to fear, all of these emotions are valid. You're excited that your kid is going off to college.
You're happy that they've gotten into a good school and are ready to go. But at the same time, you're nervous that they'll be so far away from home, and you're afraid that they're not ready to live without you. Don't worry though -- everything is going to be okay. Here are some things to keep in mind while preparing to send your kid off to college:
1. About 20.4 million Americans start college every year. Your kid isn't alone, they have plenty of company.
2. Your kid is probably well prepared for classes...
3. ... and for college life in general.
4. If your kid chooses to rush a Fraternity or Sorority, that's okay.
5. Your kid might change their style, but don't worry. Everyone experiments with their personal style in college.
6. Your kid might also become more open about their sexuality -- it's 2018 and for the most part, many people will be accepting of this.
7. When your kid comes home, they'll be used to more freedom. There's no curfew at college, no one to ask "is your room clean?", and no one to "parent" your kid.
8. Your kid might change their political views after meeting and talking with people of all backgrounds and opinions.
9. Your kid might call you multiple times a day, or only once a week.
10. Your kid might start dating someone you don't like, but try to not have the "they're not right for you" talk unless your kid's new S.O. poses a real threat to their well-being or safety.
11. Your kid might come home with a new piercing or a tattoo. You might want to discuss this before they head off to college and remind them that tattoos are permanent.
12. Think about when you went to college. What do you wish someone had told you beforehand? What do you wish you had or hadn't done in college?
13. Remember that even though your kid is growing up and gaining more independence and becoming their own person, they still love you.
14. Acknowledge the fact that your kid is now an adult -- respect their opinions and let them have their freedom.
College is an amazing experience that your kid is probably very excited about. They're growing up and becoming their own person, learning more about themselves and about the world. While it might be nerve-wracking to think about them going off on their own, remember that your kid is ready. They can handle going off to college, and you can handle them going off to college. Everything is going to be okay.