Ellen Byron

College Drop-off Made Me “Meme Mom”

A couple of weeks ago, we brought our daughter to Loyola University, New Orleans, to begin her freshman year in college. Before we left, friends asked me if I’d be okay. “Oh, for sure,” I said. I adore my kid but she’d been working my last nerve, as kids are wont to do before heading out the door. And while I’m a sensitive soul, I’m also pretty tough. “I’ve got a full life,” I told my friends. “I’ll be fine.” Their reaction?

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Simply put, they were right, I was wrong. Dropping your kid off at college is HARD. I totally underestimated how emotional it is to say goodbye. To get on a plane without her. To come home to a house that’s quiet in a weird new way. To deal with this, I have become… Meme Mom.

I’m sharing college-drop-off-funny images like this:

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And sentimental, teary ones like this:

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And yes, when she doesn’t return our calls or texts, scold-y memes like this:

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I’m not proud of who I’ve become. I hope my urge to image-share eventually fades away.  Then again, this is a forever change. What was our daughter’s home is now a way station between semesters and eventually her own home. Our baby girl is becoming a young adult and moving on with her life. But for me…. Well, this last meme says it best:

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Readers, do you have memories of going off to college or sending your kid off?

24 thoughts on “College Drop-off Made Me “Meme Mom”

  1. My very last daughter is thinking of moving out. While I know it is going to happen, as it did with her 4 sisters, still, she is the baby!
    I really like the quotes you used. They do explain how we all feel.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That last one is my favorite.

    As you know, we took our girl to college a week ago – today is her first day of classes. I am lucky, though. She let her father and brother do the heavy liftying of bringing stuff up to her room and rearranging the furniture. I asked, “What do you want me to do?” and I got to make her bed and hang her clothes – and set up a few things. She met me for lunch on Saturday. And she texts pretty frequently. No pictures yet. She’s not really a picture-taking person. I wonder if she’d still block me on Instagram.

    And yes, her room looks weirdly clean.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. When my folks dropped me off for college, I think they were more relieved than sad, but I was only one of four. So I can’t even imagine how weird–and hard–it would to have your only kid leave home. (I go crazy when my dog is gone for even one night!)

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I remember leaving for college. I as excited and couldn’t wait. I know it was hard for Mom. But I did go to a local community college first, so I was 20 when I went.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I couldn’t wait, either. But I’m sure your mom was affected, even though you were twenty. Our children will always be our babies. Even when they’re fifty and we’re eighty or ninety!

      Like

  5. I did okay taking my 3 kids to college, but the study-abroad deal was a nail-biting time for me. One went to Chile, one to Vietnam, and one to Australia. I was a wreck the entire time I sort of appreciated the new-horizons thing, theoretically, but I was busy monitoring worldwide earthquakes, floods, shark attacks, that sort of thing. The worst was when my fair-skinned son spent a summer as crew on a sailboat across the Irish Sea and through the Mediterranean (not a strong swimmer, non-seafood-eater, non-sailor, you get the idea). There is a website to monitor even small craft on the ocean, btw. Oh, and pirates.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Decades after I graduated from college my mom told me that she cried after she and my dad dropped me off. It was a complete shock to me! But I was the oldest, and I guess you could say that at that point they had had me in their lives longer than their younger offspring, so it was s major change for them. As for me, I was just so excited!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I went to college only 20 minutes from my parents’ house, so the separation anxiety didn’t happen until about 10 years later when I moved across country.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I went to college thirteen hundred miles away, and then I moved back to my hometown of NYC. In 1990, I moved across the country to Los Angeles. And you know what? I really, really miss my mother even now.

      I hope your separation anxiety eventually cleared up, though!

      Like

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