'They're Off To College'

As if one blog isn't enough ... now there's two. 'They're Off To College' is a blog focused on parenting and kids going off to college for the first time. There will be triumphs and defeats, trials and tribulations, love and laughter, and lots of stories to share later on. Join me as I send my youngest off to college! The Patch is an online community network; supplying current news, events, and blogs.
http://shelby-utica.patch.com/. Click on blogs and scroll on down to 'They're Off To College'.

Will We Be Ready In Time?
July 30, 2013 (Shelby-Utica Patch, Macomb Township Patch)

There are deadlines to submit final paperwork, endless To Do lists of things to buy, software to install on the new computer, a new backpack, and don't forget about picking the RIGHT meal plan. My head is swimming right now and it's easy to feel a bit overwhelmed AND I don't just mean for me ... my new college student-to-be has her moments too. But why I am overwhelmed? She's not my first child to go off to college, but it has been 9 years so being 'out of the loop' and 'out of practice' is my current excuse.
I can't believe how much has changed? Will we miss a deadline? Perhaps. Will we make a choice along the road that maybe we regret? The odds are for it. But we survived the first time and we'll all survive this time too. It's no different than when we first had our kids. Were we fully prepared? No! Did we know everything about everything? Absolutely NO!! But guess what? We, as parents, survived and apparently so did our kids because they're now preparing to go off to college.

Sure the road will have bumps and we may pick up the wrong map from time to time, but it's all part of the journey.

Heading Off To College: A New Week - A New List
July 28, 2013 (Shelby-Utica Patch)

There's a sense of anticipation and excitement in the air. There's a great deal of prep work involved in sending your child off to college. I like to still refer to her as my child, because technically she won't turn 18 til the first week of school. So for now I can get away with it. My daughter is going to be a music education major, so last week's list consisted of instrument repairs and class scheduling. This weekend was about shopping for dorm room bedding; and thanks to Kohls & Target we got some great deals (which is always nice). What's next week going to look like? Not sure yet ... music lessons in preparation for another audition in 3 weeks and hopefully receiving the 'all important email' letting her know the identity of her new roommate. That will be a big one. Friend or foe? Definitely a big adjustment.

At this point, every week brings a new list, new questions, and new exciting transitions. I'm finding out that the changes aren't just for her, they're for my husband and I as well.

Just When You Thought Things Would Slow Down
July 25, 2013  (Shelby-Utica Patch)

Time flies by fast enough as it is, but throw in a senior year at high school mixed with AP tests, proms, banquets, graduation, graduation parties, and you're bound to be ready for a vacation. BUT WAIT ... you're not done now. Now you have to give your son or daughter some time to breath after all the hard work they've done. You let them hang out during the summer with their friends (that they're sure they're never going to see again after they all go their separate ways), perhaps they're lucky enough to have acquired at least a part time job, and then there's the college preparation. Whether they're going to commute or stay on campus, there are classes to register for, schedules and transportation to figure out, dorm rooms to furnish, roommates to meet, etc., etc.

So, why did we think that once they graduated things would slow down and become simpler? Maybe once we check everything off the summer TO DO list we'll be able to relax a bit. It's not always easy for parents to just 'let go'. It's time for our kids to move into the next phase of their lives where they get to experience 'trial and error'. Sure, they'll make mistakes and they'll more than likely get overwhelmed at first, but who doesn't?
At this point we need to help them when we can, guide them and get them started on their way, be prepared for when they first get homesick (even if they don't want to admit it), and hope that we've done enough.
No doubt things will get easier and we'll all get used to the new stages in our lives. There may be some bumps and bruises along the way, but that's what'll keep it interesting.

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