The Emotional Checklist

You’ll find plenty of packing and to do checklists online (although I think the ones we have here at Summer Before College are the best...). What I wish I had had when my daughter was preparing for college was an emotional checklist to get me through the summer. The emotional aspects of leaving for college are part of the process.

I hope some of these tips help you navigate your summer before college!

Don’t take it personally if your child isn’t spending as much time with you as you would like. It is likely that your freshman will want to spend as much time as possible with high school friends as the realization sinks in that these friends, who have been their mainstay since grade school, are not going to be down the street anymore.


  • Try to consider it a statement on the security your child feels with your relationship: “Mom and Dad will always be there for me, but my pals from high school may not so I need to cram in as much time as possible with them.”
  • Your child will have to figure out the transition from high school to college friends on her own but there are plenty of great resources out there to help.
  • Avoid guilt trips! I admit to doing this when my daughter opted to go to a night before move-in day bonfire with her friends rather than spend the last night with us at home.
feeling sad when child goest to college
Art by Lizzy Stewart