When The Baby Goes to College: I’m Not Ready…But, oh, How Ready She Is

I look at my sweet girl, and I can’t help but see the sweet little face from this picture in my mind. She will always be my baby, but today she embarks on a whole new chapter and as ready as she is, I am not sure I am quite as prepared.

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The day I thought would take forever to get here, arrived much faster than I thought possible. We have moved this sweet girl into the dorm she will call home the majority of the next nine months and, today, we go back home (7ish hours away). It seems like just yesterday she was holding her backpack and lunchbox for her very fist day of school picture as she headed to kindergarten and now she has closed the chapter of her K-12 school years and is starting the college chapter in her life story.

kids off to college

I am not quite ready to have her spread her wings and fly, into this new adventure in her life, but at the same time I can’t wait to watch her soar. It’s funny how we hope we prepare our kids to be confident enough to leave the safety of the home/town they grew up in and move to a new city and start life all on their own. Then, when it happens, we are a little (or in my case a lot) emotional over the fact we prepared them so well. I mean, where is that little girl that needed me for every single thing!? When did she become this beautiful, talented, smart young woman who is going to follow her dreams and is ready to conquer the world?

There are so many conflicting emotions for this momma as we get ready to head back home (after spending these last few days with her and soaking up every second I could)! It’s funny the array of emotions I am experiencing through this journey. I am so proud of her, but I also worry about her. I am excited for her, but I am also a little bit heartbroken. I am confident she is going to do amazing, but I am also a little nervous that she is so far away. I am so glad we chose to stay in the area for a few days after we moved her in, but in just a few hours I am going to be leaving a piece of my heart behind as we say “See You Later”.

It’s so funny to reflect and think back when she was applying to colleges, I thought “Oh I did it with my oldest, this will be smooth sailing”. I mean, I’d done this before,  so surely it will be easier. WRONG! Her entire senior year was super emotional, for me, but now the emotions are on a whole other level. I don’t know if it’s because she is the only girl I have. Or maybe it’s because she is the baby of the family. Whatever it is, is making me super emotional..but sad isn’t quite the correct word to use, because I am so far from sad, that she is following her dreams. So, emotional is the word that fits best…because it’s a whole range of emotions I am feeling.  My girl worked so hard to get to this point, I am bursting with pride, while experiencing all the emotions that go along with her leaving our home (that is obviously still her home) to go out on her own.

The 7-hour car ride home, should be super fun for my hubby…I am sure I will be sobbing the whole way. It’s funny this entire mix of emotions I am feeling, as I am sending off my baby to do something we know is such a huge positive in her life. Pride, worry, joy, anxiousness, excitement, heartbreak…and I am sure I am forgetting some. One minute I’m smiling so big and the next I’m sobbing. NO matter what the emotion, there are truly no words to express just how proud I am of all my kids, but this is our baby, so it’s a little bit more overwhelming for some reason. I guess there is just something about it being the baby of the family, that is a reminder they are all growing up and it hits hard in all the ways.

I’m not ready to be so far away from her, but I am ready to watch her soar. So, to my fellow parents who are sending your first (or last) off to college, let’s remember we are in this together and what you are feeling, the entire array of emotions are completely normal! Leave a comment below and let me know if you are a fellow college parent and what your kiddo is going to school for?

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Hi! I'm Toni. I am a happily married, christian, momma of 3 living on Florida's sunny Gulf Coast. I am a lifestyle blogger and Seint Arist. I started blogging when my last child was born as a way to share my love of all things travel, cooking, beauty, recipes, and more. Now pull up a chair, grab a glass of sweet tea and let's get to know each other. I truly hope you enjoy getting A Daily Dose of Toni!