So here’s my scenario. I’m getting ready to choose a university for next year and I really want to go away from home. I’ve been away from camp for many weeks and I am fairly independent. However, the idea of “moving out” and “permenatly” leaving my family scares the wits out of me. It’s more the idea of moving than the actual move itself. I feel as if something bad might happen to my family when I am gone or regret that I am not spending enough time with my mom and dad. As well, I have lived in the same house for 18 years and have many traditions with my family (like pizza on Fridays, Sunday dinners etc) and I get a pit in my stomach thinking that we won’t be doing this anymore. Also, it feels as if I am leaving forever. I know I can visit home, but it will just be a visit, it won’t be my actual home. Is there anyway to think of this differently? Because I really want to go away and experience university for myself and gain more independence.
My daughter and I just had this conversation around holiday traditions. She’s only 3 hours from home but we moved out of state after she graduated HS so lots of changes for all of us.
This is the time to make new traditions and have new experiences. But, you can still have a touch of home no matter where you are at school via FT/Skype. I have a friend who had a family tradition of watching a certain TV series every week as a family. They FT watch it now even though she’s many of hundred miles away.
We have a family tradition of doing an advent box in December which my daughter was feeling very sad about missing. I have day 1 - 14 set up for her to take back to school with her after Thanksgiving. She’s planning to text me every morning after she opens up a box. We’re also tree trimming and decorating early this year since she’ll be home for Thanksgiving and she wants to be a part of that tradition as well.
Things evolve but you can still maintain your family traditions in some way shape or form. Change is good!
(And don’t assume you’ll be moving out permanently just because you’re heading to college. Lots of people move back home after school).
Thank you so much!
You can and will grieve what you are giving up, it is part of the process. Your “official” childhood will be over. You feel what you feel because you were fortunate enough to have a loving family. Don’t wish these feelings away just because they hurt. They are the best example of what people call “bittersweet.”
Once you wrap your mind around that, start also looking forward to what you will be gaining. College is what you make it, learning and working hard can be so stimulating, you start to build the foundation of your own career and adult life.
Also, you don’t have to go far away from home for college, and with current technology you can easily be in touch with your family everyday if that suits you and your family.
You can do this!
Thank you! I really appreciate the response. I do want to go away I just wish things didn’t have to change!
Yeah I get it, we parents often wish that too sometimes at every stage of our kid’s growth. I very much miss my daughter everyday. She’s a senior in college.
Home is always home. Assuming your parents don’t move or make any big changes themselves, it will always be there and you will too. Just not everyday. I am old compared to you and have had my own home for 25 years but I still think of my parent’s house as home too. Even at my age when I walk through those doors I’m still home and it feels that way too. Of course things have changed over the years but I still have many of the traditions and relationships I grew up with. You will too.
My own son is away at college out of state. In my mind he hasn’t moved and he still lives here. I guess I think of it more like the summer camp experience you mentioned. Traditions can continue - maybe they are just twerked a little for convenience.
Your post is so sweet - I love that you love your family and your home. Don’t worry - you will only be gaining more friends and new traditions by going to college. You don’t have to lose the old.
I so agree. Home is still home and family is still family. Consider it all a widening and adding experience. Your family doesn’t disown you or forget you just because you are away at school. As loving as they sound, I expect that they look forward to you having opportunities to grow and coming back home for holidays and breaks and sharing your experiences. They would be sad to think you feel you must be there to watch over them.
New technology makes it even easier to be close and stay in touch. Way back, as a freshman, I called my mother every morning to chat while I did my makeup and she was only 30 minutes away. Now, my 2nd yr college DS Facetimes my DH and I and his two younger sisters. He was home for Thanksgiving and DH and I were thrilled to hear him talk about what he has learned.
I’m very much looking forward to my children growing up and having their owns homes so I can visit and love on them and future grandchildren.
You can’t stop adulthood from coming, and it seems you are looking forward to it. I suspect that growing up is your subconscious worry, not the fear that something will happen to your family. You talk of permanence, moving “away”, and “not doing things anymore.” You have a lot of years left before any of this is permanent. You will make new family traditions, and maybe invite your family to your future home for your own traditions. Going to college does not equate permanent change and severing ties. Going to college means you will become a better, more mature version of you.
The good news is that the vast majority of students enjoy their college years and grow from the experience. If it works for nearly everyone, it will probably work for you too. I do hope you won’t be one of the many posters who come back to this forum in despair for any number of reasons: working yourself into a frenzy about leaving, or being so homesick that you cry non-stop, or rushing home every weekend because you can’t bear to be away from your family, or being so lonely that you hide in your dorm room and don’t allow yourself to get involved in campus life. Read this, you will see that what you are thinking about and/or expecting to happen is very common: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-life/2016222-to-those-who-feel-lonely-homesick-friendless-think-they-chose-the-wrong-school-etc.html#latest
Meanwhile, please stop fretting over what hasn’t happened. Enjoy everything about senior year and being around your family.
College is a nice way to transition because it is not permanent. College typically consists of two 14 week semesters broken up by vacations. You will be back-and-forth plenty. Typically the fall semester has an October break and Thanksgiving (not to mention parent’s weekend). Then there is a three or four week break between semesters. And the spring semester has a one week break as well. The spring semester will likely end in May so you will have a few months over the summer where you will be home.
So college is not a final break of any sort. More of a transitional time. You will not be home for every Friday pizza or Sunday dinner – but hopefully you will be happy and engaged in your college life. You can start new traditions like Sunday Skype or something like that. And you can appreciate the family traditions when you are home to do so.
Growing up happens. College is just one step on the way to adulthood – make the most of it.