Anyone send their freshman off to school alone?

<p>Our son has visited his school once with friends and once with us for orientation. He is taking his car. It's a 6 hour drive. San Diego to San Luis Obispo. He's taking his desktop computer, bedding, clothes, personal items, etc. He would be fine with going it alone. But I feel funny about sending him off alone. He's getting an on campus apartment and he's so excited and a pretty mature, independant 18 year old. He turns 19 in December. Has anyone NOT personally moved their child into their dorm on move in day??</p>

<p>Sorry if this is too old to be of use, but I chose to move myself in when I went to college 30 years ago. D recently has been asking if she could go alone (instead of with me). It’s healthy – they are independent – they don’t need us there. View it as a sign that you’re a good parent, able to launch a mature 18 y/o. Then offer to “visit” any weekend they want (or offer to pay for the random flight home some weekend). I would let D go it alone, gladly, but the good people at BB&B are waiting for me in Atlanta. Otherwise, I would be happy and proud in a way, sad in another way, to let her do it all by herself.</p>

<p>I would recommend against it. Move in days suck if you have no one else to help you move stuff. Also, at my dorm last year, there wasnt a parking lot immediately adjacent, so you where you leave your car is the bus drop off lane on the road. Which is also a fire lane, so you cant move in alone, as someone must stay with the car. Cops wouldnt make any exceptions, even for alone students. They had to go to the parking lot far out of the way to park and walk everything really far.</p>

<p>TL,DR, go with them, move in days suck.</p>

<p>OP - is it your kid who wants to go by himself? On the moving day, there are usually a lot of parents around, helping with the move, having a family dinner, and saying their goodbyes. I had to move in by myself 30+ years ago because my parents were too busy. I felt very alone. </p>

<p>My nephew was dropped off by his dad 2 years ago, and his dad turned right around to go home. His younger sister called him up that night to see how he was doing, asked him who he was having dinner, my nephew said he was eating by himself in his room because most kids were out with their parents. My niece started to cry, then my sister cried, which then got BIL all teared up.</p>

<p>We all do what we have to do, but if it’s possible I would be there on the move in day. Sometimes kids say it doesn’t matter because they don’t want to be too much trouble (or just putting up a brave front). I do remember telling my parents that I would be just fine, because I didn’t want them to feel bad. My Dad told me many years later that he wish he could have been there (I wish he could have been there too) .</p>

<p>If he really wants to do this, I would let him. For some, who are still struggling with dependence, it is less emotionally stressful to do things this way, and for some who are truly independent, it is just more comfortable and natural.</p>

<p>I would suggest visiting as soon as possible instead. Your son might like being in a position of welcoming you to his new home, and showing you around. So, when he is ready, do the 6 hour drive with whatever else he needs from home. (I have found that it saves face for them to use this as an excuse: I am going to drive up to bring you x, that you left behind by mistake.)</p>

<p>I commend him for going it alone.
He is doing what needs to be done.</p>

<p>Everybody put a brave face on.
Smile through your tears.</p>

<p>We did. We had some friends in that part of the country, but for the most part, she did it on her own, with her roommates. It wasn’t an issue. (We actually got to visit two weeks later.)</p>

<p>(But then my 16-year-old went to India, Cambodia, and Thailand herself following the tsnunami, and my other one - the one who moved by herself - went to Cairo at that age to study Arabic.)</p>

<p>Depends on the kid. I dropped D1 off in front of her dorm last year, piled her stuff on the curb and left. She did not want me to hang around, and neither did I. We’re just not that type of family. There were plenty of helpers to move her things inside. She found new dormmates to go to dinner with and that was that. My H was in town about 3 weeks later for a funeral and he took her out to dinner. She was perfectly fine. We put her on a plane by herself this morning for her 2nd year - no drama, no tears. </p>

<p>I also arrived at college 25 years ago by myself. Took a cab from the airport, had my first deep-dish pizza with my new RA, felt really independent, it was fine.</p>

<p>I agree with Oldfort. If you can do it, I recommend it. Sure, he’s independent and is capable of doing it himself, but he’s only going off to college for the first time once. I know he’s a guy and it may not mean as much to him, but it’s a memory for you, too. My mom dropped me off years ago and I’m glad she did. I wish she had stuck around a little bit longer, but I think she was emotional and didn’t want me to see her cry. She passed away 15 years ago and I still remember that day fondly.</p>

<p>I guess everyone’s different but I would never have sent any of my Ds off alone on the first day, for many of the reasons already stated here. Move in day is hectic and I don’t recall ever seeing a student doing it on their own. At some schools, it would be virtually impossible to unload a car close enough to the dorm, by yourself, and then find parking and move your stuff up to your room/apt. without assistance. At some schools, there is a floor meeting/ event that first night but at four of my five Ds’ schools, the first night is free time to spend with family before they head home so it would be pretty lonely to be left in your dorm/apt alone while everyone else is out for a meal. </p>

<p>One last thing, I don’t think that independence has anything to do with this. All of my Ds had travelled extensively around the world on their own and with friends prior to starting college. They were independent kids and they’re now independent young adults. I still wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on that day with any of them, and I imagine that they feel the same. We have often talked about those days in the years since.</p>

<p>Son went alone a week ago. That was for a summer program and he can come home for a few days before school starts, but he can more from summer housing to his dorm before he comes back, so he took most of his stuff. We are going with him when he goes back, but when he left, he said " it’s like moving… only just me…"</p>

<p>Students who fly often won’t have a parent spending money on the flight/hotel room. If son will have the car on campus it sounds complicated to take an extra car or get a one way ticket. Nephew flew to the coast with very little. Saying goodbye can be done in your driveway. Since he’ll have the car on campus he should have a parking spot for it. At son’s flagship U they had people to help load up the laundry carts and move things in- parking permit near dorm was for 1 hour only. Floor meeting after supper. Son did all of his unpacking, we left after unloading the car- we had the trip home after all. </p>

<p>PS- for parents who pick up and drop off kids for weekends or breaks- the students don’t seem to grasp the fact that it takes you more than twice as long as their trip, they want to leave late to make supper there without regard to your return time that evening (night?). I wouldn’t want the extra 12 hours in the car just to give a hug there instead of at home.</p>

<p>I think it’s better for the parent to be there and not be wanted, than to be wanted and not be there. Visiting, even multiples times, is a whole different ballgame than moving in. There’s no way for either parent or child to know what the emotions are going to be when the actual day arrives.</p>

<p>The memory of my parents dropping me off at college is still a very pleasant one, 47 years later. I don’t remember many of the details, but I remember they were there. </p>

<p>Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I897 using CC App</p>

<p>H dropped S#1 at the airport curb. I said goodbye in the garage. S was an immature (in his own opinion) just-turned-18 yo. whose parting words were, “I don’t wanna go to college!”
It worked out fine–he graduated last year.
Moving in wasn’t a big deal for him. He travels light and had only his laptop and one carry on.
(I shipped his bedding/winter clothes). He’d visited the college before, but we hadn’t.</p>

<p>D#1 was keeping a car–H drove to school with her(8 hours), helped unload the stuff (much more stuff than S!) and flew home.</p>

<p>As a mom, I preferred not being involved with move-ins. Both went to small schools, so it wasn’t too hectic.</p>

<p>Just wondering if the school has any events specifically for the parents. When we took D 2 years ago, they had events just for the parents, and I am so glad we were able to attend. They have a lot of traditions and it was very special.</p>

<p>D’s boyfriend’s parents were unable to take him to school (coming from a foreign country and their travel documents were not in order) and he had a rough time navigating it himself, but coped. His younger sister is starting college this year and wanted to go alone, but the older brother told his parents that they needed to be there. He is also going (different city) to help with the move-in, but he has been doing an internship since June in the US and also wants to see his family. </p>

<p>I think it might also depend on the school - how far most students travel, whether or not taking a car for the student is involved (D’s school does not allow freshmen to have cars).</p>

<p>In the grand scheme of things, it will be okay either way you decide.</p>

<p>I agree it’ll be fine either way. I think if it were me, I’d let him go alone if he <em>really really</em> wants to do that. Otherwise, I’d try to gently push him into letting me go along (notice the gently part). Understand this is more for you than for him. If you present it that way, he’ll probably be fine (and end up appreciating the lugging-things-up-stairs-on-a-hot-day help).</p>

<p>I wouldn’t miss it for the world, to be honest, but that’s me. I also fully understand it can be cost prohibitive for many, especially international.</p>

<p>Personally, I vote for going. I went by myself when I started college – my choice. I was looking forward to heading to college and felt my parents didn’t belong going there. I was surprised to see that everyone else’s parents were there and I ended up regretting that mine weren’t. It had nothing to do with needing any help moving in. It had nothing to do with missing them. It was just simply the fact that I felt alone while everyone else was surrounded by family that first day. </p>

<p>I think students can be so excited about going off to school and being independent, they may not be able to imagine things going other than how they expect them to go. Your son may be imagining hitting college and independent life ready to start sharing his experience with his roommates and other new students. He may not realize that many, if not all, of them won’t be fully ready to start sharing the experience with him until they’ve said good-bye to their folks. </p>

<p>Blame it on your desire to go so you aren’t questioning his readiness for this. He can shrug and roll his eyes and tell people how his parents felt they needed to do this. But you’ll be there just in case he ends up being glad that you are. The downside of being “wrong” by going are minimal – you bow out quickly and let him run off with his dorm mates. The downside of being wrong by NOT going are great – your son surrounded by others with their families and wishing you were there.</p>

<p>Ultimately, you know your son best – so nothing anyone here says should change your mind if in your gut you simply know what will be best for you and your son. Just offering thoughts for you to consider if your gut needs help. :)</p>

<p>Good luck to you and your son.</p>

<p>I suggest going along, especially since your S is moving into an apartment. You’ll see things he won’t know to look for. Like, line at least some of the cabinets to minimize cleanup at the end of the year (wherever oily or drippy things might sit…like…oil!, pans and lids, teriyaki sauce, etc). Hand soap, cleaning supplies for bathroom and kitchen, dish drying rack, etc. A parent’s eye on the first trip to Costco, Grocery Store, BB&B can also be pretty helpful. ok, parent’s credit card is nice too. </p>

<p>It is nice to have someone to help haul stuff from car to room. Early poster is correct about difficulty in getting a handy parking space.</p>

<p>We were dismissed the minute the stuff was in the room, so there was no need to spend the night in town. Dorms had activities planned for move-in day. Apartments, I don’t know. S had friends by then that he had already made plans with.</p>