Emotional Rollercoaster :: Graduation and Leaving for College


This is an important time in your life as a mother of a graduating senior. You have most likely already worked through the tough tasks: FAFSA, scholarship applications, selecting a school, and then the wait for admissions letters. Your baby has chosen, and now you are swimming with emotions.

» » » » »  RELATED READ: Buckle Up: Tips for Moms with Children Heading to College  « « « « «

This is where I find myself, gridlocked between the happiness and excitement as my firstborn moves on to the next chapter of her life and the sadness of this big change. I hope to share some comfort, support, and inspiration. I hope these ideas will help you navigate this transition with grace and positivity.

Big Feelings

Allow yourself to feel your emotions. It’s okay to feel sad, nostalgic, or even overwhelmed during this time. Allow yourself to feel your emotions and process them in your own time. Have a good cry in the shower. My husband jokes that I take such long showers–it’s my thinking place. It’s the only quiet place in this house, but all joking aside, it’s okay to feel all the feels. When I came out, no one knew (until now) that I was having a good cry.

Memory Making

Focus on the positive memories. While it’s hard to say goodbye to this chapter of your life, try to focus on the positive memories that you’ve created with your child. Reflect on all the good times and the milestones you’ve shared. I am currently putting together a slideshow for her graduation party, and it is so much fun to see all the photos of her growing up.

Emotional Rollercoaster :: Graduation and Leaving for College
Photo credit: depositphotos.com

Keep In Touch

Just because your child is graduating and moving on to the next phase of their life, it doesn’t mean that you can’t stay in touch. I’m not in my TikTok era, but my daughter uses it, so I made the point to create an account so we can share videos and chats. Make plans to see each other regularly and keep the lines of communication open. Some airlines offer student discounts if you book directly. United Airlines offers a 5% discount to travelers between 18 and 23 when they book through the United Mobile App with an account. 

Take Care of Yourself

It’s important to take care of yourself during this time. Make sure you’re getting enough rest, eating well, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Find a friend in a similar stage of life. I have made a few close friends this year with the moms of my daughter’s friends. We sobbed together in the line for cap and gown measurements. We sent each other encouraging quotes. It’s nice to connect with someone who can validate your feelings.

Look to the Future

Graduation marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. While it’s natural to feel sadness about saying goodbye to the past, try to look towards the future with excitement and optimism. My mom recently passed away, but before she did, she left me with the best little nugget of peace and hope. I told her that no one prepares you for this season of life, and she said, “It’s the letting go part. You have done such a wonderful job with Olivia. Great job, mama,” So simple but so impactful.

»  RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: A Guide to Hosting the Best Graduation Party in El Paso  «

When this season started the summer before Senior year, I was bulldozed by the feelings. I just couldn’t believe how emotional I was over everything graduation-related. I’m not going to lie and say the tears don’t still fall, but I feel more at peace with the next chapter for her and me.

I’ll leave you with this, “Great job, mama.”

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of El Paso Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.


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