College Move-In Been There Done That






Welcome Back to USC




High School Kid and I helped move College Kid into his new apartment at USC and I feel like throwing up. What a colossal wimp. You’d think I’d be getting better at this. After all, it’s the second time we’ve schlepped the clothes, computer, linens, lamp and everything else College Kid needed into the back of the car and unloaded at school.

The day began smoothly. We arrived early for check-in and the lines to pick up move-in packets were short. We explored the 2 bedroom – 1 bath apartment that he’ll share with three other guys and debated the pros and cons of each bedroom. Then we got down to business and set up his printer like we were techs from Geek Squad and made his bed neater than a marine. We even managed to avoid the cash-depleting, mind-numbing Bed, Bath and Beyond run because everything still works from last year.

Last year.

There’s already a last year and that may very well be why I’m searching for Dramamine.

The three of us went to lunch and I pretended to be hungry as I scanned the menu. When I peeked up at the fellas, they seemed subdued. “I don’t like the music,” High School kid remarked.

“I don’t either,” College Kid agreed.

They didn’t recognize Bob Dylan’s “The Times They are Changing.”

Summer is over. I know you know. I say it to myself so I can make light of the mild dread creeping in. Seeing the bed made and the clothes hung in College Kid’s apartment brought the realization down like a ton of textbooks.

The lazy days of piling onto the couch to watch Breaking Bad together and swimming for hours are over for now. Vacation is behind us. Sure we fight from time to time and we get snarky and short and say some choice words we wish we hadn’t. But those moments are so easily forgotten.

The feeling of being there for one another is not. Summertime we tell and retell embarrassing stories about each other, play ping-pong until it’s too dark to see the ball and frequently find ourselves on frozen yogurt runs.

I’m sure I’ll get used to setting the table for one less person. Eventually I’ll acclimate to the quiet house. And if I don’t, did I mention that College Kid’s apartment is a mere thirty minutes away, door-to-door?

Nobody said I was any good at cutting umbilical cords.


Author Description

Cynthia Baseman

Cynthia Baseman is the author of 'Love, Mom: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Hope.' She writes about motherhood, the environment and education.

There are 12 comments. Add yours

  1. 20th August 2013 | Roberta says: Reply
    My youngest moves in to college this Saturday. Not sure I'm gonna like empty nesting.
  2. 2nd September 2012 | Evelyn Alexander says: Reply
    BH Mom - so glad to have found your site! I can help students find the right college, and I can help make the admissions process easier and less stressful for parents - but alas, I can't make it easier for you to let them go! Evelyn from Magellan College Counseling
  3. 29th August 2012 | Dec-Sleep says: Reply
    From students view- the feeling is mutual- after the first month away from home we soon realize how much love and care was given while living at home; this came to mind when we think back to always having food and having clean clothes to wear
  4. 28th August 2012 | Carpool Goddess says: Reply
    I just dropped off Mini-Me for her first year in college (sniff sniff) and her big bro leaves next week for his senior year. Be happy you still have one at home and your college kid still lives in LA. :)
    • 28th August 2012 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      I thank my lucky stars, CG. Like you, I'm trying to cherish the moments...only sometimes my kid can make that a very tall order.
  5. 25th August 2012 | Hayley says: Reply
    My turn is coming up in a week or so. I had a really difficult time year one, but was assuming it'd be easy the second time round. Darn it!
    • 26th August 2012 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Misery loves company so we can get through this together.
  6. 25th August 2012 | Ellen says: Reply
    just remember, your babies will always be your babies just a little bit bigger in size!
  7. 25th August 2012 | Anonymous says: Reply
    oh, how i can relate! and it does NOT get easier; i've done it with four kids. and now here's the good news: what DOES get easier is reveling in the time/space that's left behind. for you!!
    • 25th August 2012 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Once you give birth, you never think that time will actually materialize. Now voila' here it is.
  8. 24th August 2012 | sandy says: Reply
    You're a great MOM lady C.... i bet when you drove home you had a little tear in your eye... and yes as you said summer once again is over... sandy
    • 24th August 2012 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Takes one to know one. You're a great mom (& grandma), too!

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