My Mom's Goodbye Was The Hardest Part Of Leaving For College

My Mom's Goodbye Was The Hardest Part Of Leaving For College

It wasn't hitting me that every moment I was spending with them was just another moment before we had to say goodbye.


Last weekend was the move-in weekend at my college. I'd been prepping for the day for months, and I thought I was ready. I had my clothes packed and my textbooks ordered. I had been talking to my roommates for months, and we had decided what appliances we would each bring to contribute to the room. I thought I had everything accounted for, except... I didn't.

I didn't account for how hard it would be to say goodbye to my parents, or, more specifically, my mom.

Of course, I'd been warned that leaving your parents is a hard and lonely step, but during the adrenaline rush of moving in, it wasn't hitting me that every moment I was spending with them was just another moment before we had to say goodbye. And after we had gone to the store to pick up extension cords, it still hadn't hit me. It didn't even hit me when we're actually saying goodbye in the parking lot.

I would say that it wasn't a tearful goodbye, in that while we were actually saying goodbye, my mother and I both were not crying. In the past, when I've had to leave for a while, we usually both do. But on move-in day, I just hugged my parents and told them I loved them and then got back into my car to drive back up to my own parking lot.

And that's when it finally hit me.

I was driving away, watching my parents in the parking lot, and I started crying. Saying goodbye had been relatively easy, but I was now feeling that goodbye more intensely than I thought I was going to.

My mom has been a major support to me my entire life. Whenever I have problems going on, or things that I'm excited to share with someone, she's always been the very first person that I go to. I was really worried that I was going to lose that support once I moved away, and that thought really scared me. But I shouldn't have worried about it so much.

My mom is still pretty involved in what I'm doing right now. She still likes when I call her and give her updates about what I'm doing here, and while I might be acting like a teenager sometimes, I definitely appreciate it. I appreciate her greatly. And I'm so grateful to have awesome parents who encouraged me to follow my dreams and are helping me as I go through college. I definitely wouldn't be here without them.

So, if you leaving for college has made you miss your parents a TON, don't be afraid to call them and tell them how much you love them! They're probably missing you, but not wanting to intrude upon your fun time at college (unless your mom is like mine and has no problem calling you all of the time).

While it may be hard to be apart from them, college is going to give all of us a wonderful chance to grow, and our families will still be there for us when we come back home.

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.

Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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My Mom Is The Only Best Friend I Need

I apologize to all my other best friends, my mom always trumps you.


There was a period of time where I fell astray from my family and sought after the love and approval from anyone but them. It was a pure example of teenage angst. I look back on this short-lived rebellion and gawk at the fact that I didn't value that the truest love, friendship, and support system was right in front of me.

As I grow and prosper in my life outside of the comfort of my own home, my mom has become the only best friend that I need.

We rant about our lives as if there isn't a four-hour drive between us.

Some things in college are better left unsaid, but I don't exaggerate when I say that I tell my mom anything and everything.

Every weekend brings about a new play-by-play of debauchery and often times silence on her end. I understand that not every parent loves to hear about their underage daughter falling off of elevated surfaces and coming home at 4 a.m., but my mother so graciously listens to every detail. She has an abundance of stories from her teenage years, too, let's not forget.

She also knows of all the drama there is to know about ex-boyfriends, new relationships, and hook-up culture. If anyone could write an exposé on my life, it's her.

I also call so often to check up on her. There are days back in New Jersey where the sun isn't shining so bright and I know that she needs an extra ear to listen. I will always be the support system to her that she is to me as my life would not be the same without her in it.

Though the distance feels unimaginable at times, sometimes a phone call or text brings a little slice of home right back into my life.

When the entire world annoys me, my mom is always there to save the day.

I love the relationships I have cultivated in college, I do, but sometimes after spending every waking moment with the same people, I just need my mom.

No one truly understands the daily bullshit just like mom. She has seen every superficial girl and every douchebag guy and I have called her both at 12 p.m. and 2 a.m. because of either. It's easy to forget that my mom was once in my shoes, fighting with a friend or mending a broken heart, and her empathy provides me with the opportunity to grow from the drama.

Her devotion to our family tends to go unnoticed and I am truly grateful for all she does.

Growing up my dad went to work while my mom juggled the behind-the-scenes chaos of raising four children, cooking and cleaning for a household of six, and maintaining her own personal life. This is not to discredit the hard work my father, to this day, puts in for the family, but I have not truly acknowledged the sacrifices my mother has made in order for our entire family to lead a better life.

After a long day's work, she has always made an effort to put dinner on the table, adjusting every recipe to my picky eating and my sibling's dietary restrictions. Now with my siblings moved out and my dining hall experiences, all we wish for is a home cooked meal on a daily basis. I never truly appreciated mom's cooking until I didn't have it anymore.

The holiday season has always been marked with the smell of pumpkin pie in November and the quick transition to chocolate chip cookies in December. While our family traditions have never been eccentric, but my mom consistently makes the holiday season feel at home. Every Thanksgiving brings about the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing made with love and leftovers that last for days. Christmas morning is always filled with the fresh smell of eggnog waiting on the coffee table and the floor under the tree decorated with presents for all four siblings. Now that significant others have entered mine and my sibling's lives, my mom opens her home to new faces and allows the holiday spirit to spread amongst an entirely new generation of O'Donnell's.

As I grew up, I finally took the opportunity to take a step back and reflect upon the love and effort my mother poured into our family. Though Mother's Day only comes once every spring, I value and appreciate her 365 days of the year.

She's my rock, my dose of positivity, my light at the end of a tunnel.

Despite our rocky past, I wouldn't trade the relationship between my mother and me for the world. When the dreary weather in Cuseland feels overarchingly depressing and all I want to do is lay in bed, her words of encouragement bring more motivation to my lazy bones than she may realize.

If someone told me three years ago that my mom would have been my best friend, I would have laughed. I know that sounds horrible, but there have been some situations in life that left grudges and bad feelings.

Now, however, I am so eternally grateful for the strong, empowering woman in my life that I am able to call mom and best friend. It took quite some growing up to realize that life would not be bearable without her by my side. Each and every day I am blessed to feel her love, no matter the distance between us.

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