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Parent blog: Sending a kid to college

Teacher educator and mom Ann Morrison finds it to be harder than she thought to kick her college-bound son out of the nest.

My son’s girlfriend came over the other night. I asked her how she was doing. She said that there was “so much to do” (eyeball rolling implied) before she leaves for the University of Colorado.

Montage of Colorado colleges
Campuses of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, the University of Colorado-Boulder and the Auraria Higher Education Center.

I thought surely she meant things around her home because my son is going to CU as well and he didn’t have anything left to do before he leaves. I casually asked her what she needed to do.

Even though she would likely know that my son hadn’t done any of the things she was referring to, I didn’t want to give away that I didn’t know what he was supposed to be doing.

I am far too good a mother for that.

An hour or so later, my son’s girlfriend sent me an email. It was titled “to do list.” I became alarmed.

I pulled out my laptop and logged into his CUInfo account (yes, I know I am not supposed to have his username and password, but in his defense he only gave it up under threat of tuition withholding).

Lo and behold, there were a slew of things he was supposed to have taken care of:

  • He needed to take an online “alcohol class” (is “alcohol class” a prerequisite for “dorm living class”?).
  • He hadn’t accepted $930 of free money from the state.
  • He hadn’t indicated whether he wanted to accept his financial aid award.
  • He needed to buy his books, buy a parking space, sign his residence hall contract, sign his residential academic program contract and get his immunization record to the health center.

What was worse, all of these had due dates.

Several days later, I am online shopping for the best price on textbooks, printing the residence hall contract and heading out to drop off the immunization request at the doctor. In my defense, he works 60 hours a week, but his last day is Monday.

After Monday, he is on his own.

I promise.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.

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