A Letter to Our Son Who’s Starting College in a Week

Me and J listening to music.

I'm getting sentimental.

My dearest J –

You’re starting college in a little over a week, so as we prepare to move you into your dorm and leave you on the other side of the country, there are a few things I want to make sure you know. Maybe you know all of this, maybe you don’t. As we careen toward this moment when you move out of the only home you’ve ever known, I start to worry. Did we do it right? Anything we forgot? Can he really do his laundry? Please indulge your mom.

When you do the laundry, cold water is usually fine, separate light from dark (the only time I will ever say that to you!), don’t use too much soap, and be sure to shake your clothes before you put them in the dryer.

No one is going to vacuum your floor or clean your room, so please do it yourself every so often. Listen to your music or a podcast and it will take no time at all.

Learning how to manage your time is one of the most important college lessons. Leaving things until the last minute will not produce the results you are capable of.

If you choose wisely, the friends you make in college will last your entire life.

Professors get excited by students who seek them out, form relationships with them and show enthusiasm for learning. You get them for four years, so get after that.

Learning doesn’t just mean grades. It’s also about learning independence, taking care of yourself, discovering things you didn’t know would interest you, managing your money so you have enough for that summer trip you want to take, postponing fun when you have a big paper due, and weaving fun into your life in ways that really make you happy.

Remember that giving of yourself to others is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

We are always here for you – and not in a you-can-move-back-in-for-an-indefinite-period-of-time kind of way, but in a we-love-you-with-every-fiber-of-our-beings kind of way. We will always listen, have your back, give counsel when asked, and be your biggest cheerleaders.

There are very few things in life that a smile or a laugh cannot make right.

Treasuring memories as our son is starting college

Can’t believe you’re starting college already.

Saying “I’m sorry” costs you nothing.

Life is better if you’re one of the good guys.

Go do what you are meant to do with gusto, kindness, and intent.

Your adventure starts now.

All my love –

Mom