Off to College, Hard Goodbyes

For recent high school graduates, those inevitable goodbyes are quickly approaching. Those long summer days are turning into just several weeks before you will pack up and head off to college, a year in Israel, or wherever life leads you. Whether you are going off to college this fall or not, chances are you have many friends who are and are moving out of town. 

This is a time to prepare for goodbyes. And some of us are better at it than others. But what do you even say? How exactly do you say goodbye to that friend you’ve been walking to school with since Kindergarten? That lacrosse buddy you endured endless runs with? Your pal you skipped Sunday School with?

The parties, those endless graduation parties, will soon turn into goodbye parties. And I think they may be harder for those of you who are either not leaving, or leaving later. With each passing day of August, more and more friends head off to school, leaving fewer friends to meet up with each day. Figure out when you can say goodbye to each and every friend you wish to say goodbye to, and even prepare what you want to say if that helps. And if you aren’t the type to say what you feel, send a note or message.

I remember my first day of college. I woke up at the crack of dawn; I couldn’t sleep. I worked out, to help with my mental health, trust me! My dad insisted we leave extra early to get to our preferred stairwell for move in day. He thought the university would allow us to move in earlier than the time on the form they sent us regarding move in procedures (this of course did not happen but we were ready just in case!) We stood outside in the August heat for hours, with my stuff right by the door to the stairwell, ready to go. And when the dorm finally opened at the allotted time, my family had me moved in in about twenty minutes. I set everything up quickly, as I had beaten my roommates to the room. My dad whispered to me to let my mom make the bed. “I can do it,” I remember telling him. “Just let her do it,” he said. And I did. My mom made my bed. And that was it. They gave me a hug and kiss and they left. In all my anxiety for the goodbye to come, it came and went so quickly.

Looking back, I wish they had stayed longer. I know I pushed them to go, but really wanted them to stay. There is no reason to be left with any regrets of this big day.
Before you get yourself packed up for the big day, ask yourself these questions:

1. Who do you want to go with you for the move in day?
2. How long do you want your entourage to stay? (would you prefer a quick goodbye or would you prefer them to spend the night somewhere nearby and say goodbye in the morning)
3. Tell your family what you need in advance of making your plans

There are many exciting days ahead as you begin your college career! I wish you safety, fun, and a fantastic educational experience

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