by Robyn Cox, Gaven's Mom
First of all I would like to say welcome to the Texas Tech Terry family!
If you are like I was the excitement and joy about the opportunities awaiting your child are mixed with the waves of nostalgia and a great sense of loss. I remember the fears of being the “helicopter” parent overwhelmed me as I thought of how I was going to let my baby, my first born, go out into the world without me. How would he ever survive? Who will do his laundry? Will he eat? Who will stay on him about his studies? All the things a parent takes care of and worries about they will be faced with doing on their own. Whether your child is 1 or 10 hours away the nerves and mixed emotions are real and uncontrollable and that is OK. I later learned it is just all part of the process. Last year at this time, I was like all of you, gearing up for graduation and crying for no apparent reason as I drove alone in my car or gathered his pictures for the senior slide show. Where had my baby gone?
BUT, here I am a year later and boy what a great year it has been. After graduation we enjoyed our summer and prepared for the big move. Everything at orientation was so organized and helpful. We were lost as a goose at first, but the faculty will gladly help you know where to go and what to do next. Luckily for us our children have what many college students do not have, they have a built in family. Once becoming a Terry your child will be invited to various social networking pages and be friended by fellow Terry’s. Encourage their interaction. Making acquaintances prior to arrival helps ease their nerves and gives them something to look forward to. It was very comforting for me as a mom when my sons Terry mentor showed up, introduced himself and actually helped us during the move in process. Our Terry family will have a get together during move in, please come. For me, meeting other parents and getting to know them and their kids that my child will be spending time with helped ease my fears. Knowing there is a built in family that will be inviting my child places and helping him adjust was profound. My son adjusted rather quickly and I credit the foundation for a great deal of that. If they are not seeing the other Terry’s at events they check on them and that is priceless.
My son is not one to call, and although hard at first, it is ok. I have had to talk myself out of scolding him for not calling more. I have to understand he is adjusting just as I and his schedule is very different. We communicate via text almost daily and I have found that that is okay with me and when I do get the phone call I have to hide my giddiness so he doesn’t make fun of me. I had learned to not “electronically leash” my child and with that he and I communicate effectively and often. You will find your happy medium as well.
I learned to lean on other parents who were going through the same thing and I encourage you to do the same. The fact that your child has earned the Terry tells me that you have laid a great foundation over the past 18 years. That foundation will not leave as they do for college. They will adjust at their own pace. You have done a good job, trust in that. (although that is probably the hardest part)
Leaving our son was undoubtedly the most difficult moment. I stressed over our closing words. I felt I needed to leave him with some great wisdom or book worthy quote. You don’t. We all hugged and I left him with “I love you” and that was just enough for the both of us.
Changes at home are although noticeable, easier now. It takes time, but the adjustment comes and then you look forward to the visits as will your child. Although new, the next chapter is amazing in its own way. The pride I feel seeing my child adjust and thrive is well worth the pain of having to “let go”.
God speed to all Freshman Terry’s and prayers to every college parent
While not the author of all of the posts, Heather Medley, the Terry Program Director at Texas Tech is the blogger of choice here.