14 Signs YOU (and Your Freshman) Survived and Thrived the First Year Away at College

done with freshman year
Freshman year is over. (Pexel)

You made it, Moms!

Your kid’s freshman year is gently (and finally!) winding down, and you actually survived it! 

I bet last fall when you made that long, sad trip to bring them to campus (and then sobbed the entire ride home like you’d just watched a Steel Magnolias marathon), I bet you didn’t think it was ever going to get easier. I bet those first few weeks you spent hours wandering around a now very quiet house, sadly strolling by their empty bedroom, and letting your imagination get the best of you with anxious thoughts like, “Are they eating? Sleeping? Going to class? Doing drugs? Having sex? OMG THEY NEED TO COME BACK HOME RIGHT NOW!!”

Yet somehow those long, lonely days morphed into months, and now here we are post spring break, with just a few weeks left of the semester before your once very green in the gills freshmen returns home, but now as a very confidant college sophomore. 

But what about you, Mom? How did their first year away change YOU?

Have you become a different person, too?

I bet you have, and here’s how you can tell.

Any of these ring a bell?

Is Freshman Year the Hardest Year of College? 

  1. You’ve stopped leaping out of your skin every single time your phone rings. And when it does ring, and it is your student, you’re able to “Let it go to voicemail because I am out to lunch treating myself!”
  2. At first you had to talk to them several times a day. Then it was twice a day. Then once a day. Then every other day. Now? You’re totally good with once or twice a week. 
  3. You’ve let go of all your worried “They’re not eating right and they’re gonna lose weight” scenarios because you saw them at Christmas and, well, clothes were tight. Just sayin’. (Thank you 2 a.m. pizza).
  4. You worried they would get deathly ill after their 4th case of strep throat, but they didn’t. And as a matter of fact, they didn’t even call you the last time they felt sick. They just dealt with it. Your babies are growing up!
  5. They eventually figured out laundry without sudsing up the entire residence hall, and stopped calling you to ask about hot, warm, or cold cycles. 
  6. Thoughts like, “Are they making friends? What if they’re sad and alone in their dorm room all weekend?” stopped happening as soon as you started seeing them tagged in party pictures on Instagram. At  4 a.m. Yikes.
  7. You bravely, GULP,  turned off the GPS tracking app on their phone. But it’s for the best moms, because sometimes it’s just better NOT knowing. Trust me. 
  8. Your Amazon cart is no longer filled with all their favorite snacks, shampoos, after shaves, and yoga pants, and you now have no desire to ever put together another damn care package. EVER. 
  9. When they were registering for fall classes, you had a huge say in what they took and when they took it. You now don’t even know (or care) what their major is. Have they failed out? Nope? Then it’s all good.
  10. They called you hysterical with a slew of overdramatized situations, and you didn’t drop everything and talk them through it. You simply said, “Wow that’s tough. Call me when you have all that solved. Take care now!”
  11. You kept their bedroom exactly as they left it, but have recently created a Pinterest board for its eventual renovation into your craft/serenity room. 
  12. Out of the blue you receive a postcard from them that simply says, “I’m sorry I was a jerk teenager. I get it now. Also, can you send snacks and shampoo please?  And I love you Mom.” 
  13. You no longer wander through the grocery store sad about all their favorite foods you don’t get to buy anymore. Now you add up how much your grocery bill has dropped since they left,  and cheer.
  14. You’re filled with immense pride and huge amounts of relief that they’re successfully about to finish their first college year away from you.  (OK, so you’re really more proud of YOURSELF for making it, but they don’t need to know that!)

You Might Like to Read:

50 Things You Can Do When You Turn 18 (Who Knew?)

A Lazy Mom’s Guide to College Care Packages 

About Melissa Fenton

Melissa Fenton is a freelance writer and adjunct librarian at Pasco-Hernando State College. Find her writing all over the internet, but her work mostly on the dinner table. Find her on Facebook 
and on twitter at @melissarunsaway

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