You’re so close the best time of your life: college! This upcoming academic year is going to be awesome. You’re going to push yourself to accomplish some amazing things, and you’ll make friendships that will last a lifetime in the process.
Plus, college means carefree weekends, and, if you’re lucky, no morning classes. No more Mom and Dad telling you what to do, no more high school drama and no more seven-hour school days!
Wait, slow down. Was that…“no more Mom and Dad”?
Being away from your parents can be one of the hardest transitions freshmen go through. No matter how well you’ve convinced yourself that you’ll be fine without them, during the first couple days of college, it’s going to hit you: You are going to miss your parents, and they will miss you even more.
With this in mind, remember to take the time to say a proper goodbye to your parents before you leave home. Here are some super cute, super sentimental and, most importantly, super heartfelt ways to say goodbye to the people who have helped you the most in your life.
1. Plan family time
Good, old-fashioned quality time with your parents can never be underestimated. Planning an evening out at your favorite go-to restaurant or even just having a movie night are both good options to say a bittersweet goodbye to your parents before you depart. Take this time to let your parents know how much you’re going to miss them when you leave (even if you don’t believe it yet!). Let them spoil you once more before you go off to live “adult life” in your dorm, and don’t forget to say a big “thank you” for all they’ve done.
“Because I was so focused on saying my goodbyes to my friends from school, I totally forgot about saying goodbye to my parents!” says Ariah Hammond, a recent high school graduate. “I made it up to them by hanging out with them and my brothers. We played board games and just had a family night.”
2. Make a goodbye video
A video is an adorable way to say goodbye to your parents if you’re not so great with in-person goodbyes. Whether it’s a DVD left at home, a video message sent over email or even a FaceTime date, a video of you saying goodbye will let your parents know you’ll miss them. You can also take your camera around your dorm once you arrive and show Mom and Dad your completed room!
3. Make a scrapbook
Similar to a goodbye video, a scrapbook can be an even more sentimental gift for your parents to cherish. You can fill it with pictures of you and your mom when you were a child, tickets from game days with your dad or just scribbled notes about your favorite memories you’ve had with your family. A scrapbook is the perfect gift to give Mom and Dad the day before you leave for college (or just hand it to them when they drop you off if you don’t want to endure your mom sobbing all over you).
4. Hide surprise goodbye notes
Hiding little “Love you!” or “Miss you!” notes around your house that your parents will find when you’re away is a super adorable way to say an extended goodbye. Hide the notes in places you know your parents won’t search or get to until a certain time.
For example, put a note inside a pair of shoes your dad won’t wear until the beginning of winter or inside the book that’s next on your mom’s to-read list. If there’s a box of Halloween decorations sitting in the basement, write a “Happy Halloween” letter for your family to find for when they set up the decorations for the year!
Your parents will miss your company, but you’ll be there in spirit! Plus, the benefit of the delayed goodbyes is that your parents won’t feel like the separation is final; they’ll be able to get used to the idea of you being out of the house (completely) much more gradually. If you want your parents to know you miss them right away, sneak a goodbye note into the car when they drop you off on move-in day. Your parents will be reminded that even though you just moved out, you’re already thinking about them!
5. Give them a Facebook shout-out
Chances are your parents are hip and modern and have decided to invade on our generation by joining Facebook. While in the past you may have spent all your energy trying to block certain content from reaching your dad’s News Feed or yelling at your mom for sending friend requests to all your childhood friends, Facebook can actually be a great way to say goodbye to your parents.
By posting a favorite picture of you and your parents or simply tagging them in a status, you’ll let your mom and dad know that you miss them. Plus, by publicly declaring to the Internet that your parents have Facebook accounts, you’ll earn brownie points for showing them you aren’t (totally) embarrassed by them!
While college promises years of freedom, independence and adventure, leaving your parents is hard. The two most important people in your life are no longer going to be there for you 24/7, and for many collegiettes, it’s a difficult adjustment.
“Make the most of your last few weeks with your parents and come up with a way to say goodbye that will mean something to them,” says Rachel Spenik, a sophomore at John Carroll University. “I didn’t think much of it when my parents first dropped me off for college; I just got out of the car and rushed off to my dorm. But by the second or third day, I was calling home every night.”
Make sure you take the time to say a proper goodbye before you leave, but always know that the goodbye isn’t forever!