Colleges give up on subtle hints; kick ‘velcro’ parents out!

Across the country, colleges are not so politely telling helicopter parents to drop off their kids and then get the heck out.

From The New York Times:

“In order to separate doting parents from their freshman sons, Morehouse College in Atlanta has instituted a formal “Parting Ceremony.”

“It began on a recent evening, with speeches in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. Then the incoming freshmen marched through the gates of the campus — which swung shut, literally leaving the parents outside…”

“Formal “hit the road” departure ceremonies are unusual but growing in popularity, said Joyce Holl, head of the National Orientation Directors Association. A more common approach is for colleges to introduce blunt language into drop-off schedules specifying the hour for last hugs. As of 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, for example, the parents of Princeton freshmen learn from the move-in schedule, ’subsequent orientation events are intended for students only.’ ”

Other schools are inviting parents to a reception while their student meets their roommate and settles in.

While other schools are less polite holding ceremonies where the parents are on one side of the room and the students are on the other and the dean turns his back on the parents.

So here are my questions: Did you get the boot from the college when you dropped off your student? How long did you plan to hang around? How long did you hang around?

Would you be offended by these obvious rouses to get you the hell out of town? (You are in most cases paying the bill!)

Do parents have any “rights” to stay on campus after they drop off their students – especially if the kid isn’t ready for them to leave?

85 comments Add your comment


August 24th, 2010
3:29 am

Insomnia here at 3:00 a.m…..

No, we did not get the boot. I do not think we needed it. My husband moved our son into UGA 5 years ago. I did not join them, as I was out of town. I was on campus perhaps 6-8 times in 4 years and we live 45 minutes away. He moved him out too. I have recently learned of other Moms who visit their son’s apartment every few weeks to clean it and stock it for food. That was NEVER me.

Our entire family ( son offered to help and I was thrilled) moved his sister into UGA 2 weeks ago. It took us 2 hours ( climbed 4 flights of stairs as there are no elevators in her dorm…more later). Brother and sister took care of the paperwork along with the room mate ( he had done it before and knew more than we ever could) . Dad and I stayed in the room to loft the beds and put up the electronics ( not me…I plugged things in :0) . We invited the room mate to join us out for lunch and then left. All went well. No tears.

Daughter came home this past weekend, to work her part time job. She will need her own spending money and car payment each month. She has lost 5 pounds, even though she loves the food at UGA. The stairs are working! She bought her laundry home and did it herself.

If you cannot separate from your child when they are 18, I think you have a problem. Kids will grow up, in spite of you. Maybe not?

There was a girl whose parents made her stay in a hotel with them during the freshman orientation, in July. The students were supposed to stay in the dorm. What was that about and where is she staying now?

I love my kids but they are young adults. I took my daughter to the bank to sign papers on her car, before I met catlady for lunch on Saturday. She has a small loan and will make her own payments.
As we were signing the papers, they banker said: “when did you get so smart?” I laughed as my daughter does not **always*** think I am smart. My daughter will understand what making a car payment is ( as did her brother) and she will be getting some credit for her financial score.

I want my children to be independent and happy. They know we are here if they need us. I have not seen my son in 10 days. DB saw him at work, this past weekend. I laughed and told her she can keep me posted on him now since he has moved out….:) Good thing I met her through the blog!


August 24th, 2010
3:37 am

FYI…our daughter will not be home every weekend. She can come home 2 weekends per month and keep her job…got a promotion to boot. She has worked it out with her employer. I will be on the road most times and will not see her but her Dad and doggy will be here to greet her!


August 24th, 2010
5:28 am

I like your thinking MJG! My thoughts exactly. Well said.


August 24th, 2010
6:34 am

Well said, MJG. While mine are not college aged yet, I know when it is time for them to leave the nest, I won’t be one of those parents that have claw marks on the doorframe of her child’s room! I have to be confident in the way I raised the kids and stay prayerful that both will make the right decisions.

My mom...

August 24th, 2010
6:35 am

…was one of those “helicopter” parents before that term originated (more than 40 years ago) – however, when I went to college she waved goodbye as I backed the car out of the drive way for the 3 hour drive to college and pretty much said “adios” – I did play sports in college so my parents were there 11 weekends in the Fall, but, other than that, they never darkened the campus until graduation Sunday 4 years later. When I went to grad school, the same thing.

Fast forward to my kids going to college – we did help each move into their freshman dorms, and we did go to football and basketball games while they were in college, but we never set foot, or even eyesite, on their dorms or apartments except when helping them to move –

As motherjane indicated, they are young adults and need to learn the ways of the world without the parents hovering – only time will tell if they can get along without our financial support, as this job market is still tough on the one who just graduated and is unable to find employment…


August 24th, 2010
7:23 am

I agree MJG. It’s a great opportunity to move to the next level of independence. If they want to make a ceremony out of it, I don’t care. I’ll choose to look at it as something done in jest, whether it is or not. For all I know, my child and I may both look at as stupid and not even be there.

Hey, motherjane...

August 24th, 2010
7:54 am

…Dave Ramsey says you are teaching your child incorrectly by allowing them to have credit – he says she should have saved up and paid cash for the car and that she will never need a credit score if she pays cash for everything – it ius great that you have taughther independence and the value of money, yet you should not have co-signed a loan for her or any other friend, foe, or family member – that is Dave talking, not me…


August 24th, 2010
8:06 am

@ Andrea…prayerful is right!

@ my mom…good luck on the finding a job. I know it is tough, Our son is and has been working for his past and future employer for 7 years in September. Unless something REALLY goes haywire, he will remain in the Pharmacy. Our daughter, I do not know. She has had 3 classes, so far, related to Food Science and has loved each one. Right now, the field is wide open but who knows, in four years.

@ Becky, no e-mail from T yet on how to get in touch with you. I even checked my spam…who knows. I would love to meet you.

Everyone…thanks for the positive thoughts here, yesterday and today.

While eating lunch with catlady, I did mention that I do NOT know everything. It is VERY frustrating when I am confident of things and try to share them on the blog, only to be shot down. Catlady has a wealth of knowledge too and it was fascinating to hear her stories and learn new things about life. We swapped for 2 hours and did not have enough time!

This was on getschooled August 20 @ 3:09

I can’t read Momania anymore – too much passing judgement for me. I gave it up about 4 years ago. (I think – might have been longer.)

Guess we need to lighten up?


August 24th, 2010
8:07 am

Well said MJG! I read that article in the Times yesterday and was disgusted with a large portion of parents today who are raising this next generation of children into pansies. The sad part is, the parents don’t get it, they never did and never will -it’s all about self absorption even though they convince themselves it’s all about how much they love thier kids. Be careful of what you raise…. these helicopter children are going to get devoured by their own peers in the business world and will probably wind up back at home at age 40.


August 24th, 2010
8:08 am

I am glad to see colleges push the parents away. Back in my day parents limited themselves to carrying junk into the dorm and perhaps a few meals out when they came to visit (usually 1 or 2 times a yr). Parents usually came to visit if their kids needed a ride home at the end of the semester or help moving their stuff out of the dorm. That was it. No wonder the younger generation is having a hard time in the workplace and has no initiative. If mommy is still doing your laundry or packing your lunch past the age of 12, there’s a problem.


August 24th, 2010
8:20 am

@ Hey…she may need to buy a house or newer car ( than a 2002) when she graduates and perhaps she will need credit for that? Do kids pay cash for a house or car out of college?
Do most adults? I do but I thought many people financed. I buy a barely used car with mileage in the teens and pay cash. My kids do not have that option yet and they need a car to get to their jobs to earn money for college. Yes, it is somewhat of a cycle.

Please read the last part of my last post.

My point was that many kids today get their car given to them ( is that better than making payments) and I have seen some pretty nice cars at our HS….BMW, Volvo, Mustang…for a 16year old….hello? We know a child who got a LEXUS for her 16th birthday…what is that about?

Here are the facts…my kids each saved $1000 for a down payment on their car…which I matched.
They then had a $100 +/- car payment for 3 years. Our daughter got a later start, as she was not interested in driving the day she turned 16 ( her brother).

She has the money coming directly out of her account, to make the payment each month.

So far, my kids have always paid me back for every loan they have taken $20 to $1000 but her car is worth more than what she owes on it, so we should be fine.

Thanks for your advice today. Maybe others here will agree that kids do not need a good credit score after college and that most folks in the world just pay cash and do not finance anything. I will check in to find out.

Hey, motherjane...

August 24th, 2010
8:51 am

…actually, I was referring to what DAVE RAMSEY teaches – he says daily that NO ONE should EVER need a credit score – when the time comes to buy a house all you need to do is find a lender who actually underwrites their mortgages rather than rely upon credit score…

Look, I do not necessarily subscribe to his teachings about credit, except that the less you have the better. He seems to be way out of touch with reality – last week I heard him say that if car insurance required a credit score (which many companies do) he would just cancel his insurance and self insure because he can afford it – well, that is a noble thing to do, but unless he proves he has insurance after he cancels, his license will get suspended immediately – so though he provides a good process for getting out of debt, his rantings sometimes go overboard, just as yours do on occasion…

Hey, motherjane...

August 24th, 2010
8:52 am

…and, oh yeah, he says that NO ONE should ever finance a car or any other purchase other than a home…

I think its wrong

August 24th, 2010
8:55 am

When I went away to college, I had been working for 3 years. I made and saved most of $20,000 my senior year of highschool. I had a scholarship to pay tuition. I decided that Dorm life didn’t sound like a good idea to me. So, I rented an apartment and moved in. The college offered classes and thats it to me. I didn’t become involved with the other activities. So, it would seem strange to me that the college have a ceremony where they told my parents anything at all. If I wanted my parents to visit my apartment, they were welcome to do so. i would have been put off with the university having any say at all in my private life. I mean, I pay them, they don’t pay me. I don’t know, maybe I am not like other men going away to school, but it seems odd to me to see college students behaving as children. In my mind, at that point you are an adult. I actually lived in a working class apartment throughout college with not a lot of other students. I went to work like the rest of my neighbors. The only difference between them and I was that I also attended 15-20 hours of classes every week.


August 24th, 2010
8:58 am

My mother stopped doing my laundry when I was 12, said I did a better job of getting the stains out and I could iron a better crease in the clothes than her. Had a summer job ever year since 14, so I paid my own fees for high school and marching band with the money saved over the summer. When it was time to leave for college, I purchased all of my college needs. When I went to the housing office to get my key, they said that they did not receive all of my deposit, my mother told me to handle the situation myself because she would not be running up to the school every time I had a problem. I handled the situation and received my housing keys. My mom dropped me off at orientation, while I was at orientation she moved me into my apartment (our dorms were being renovated at the time). When I got out of orientation, I went to the apartment and found everything placed in neat piles on the floor. We went to the grocery store for food and snacks. Once we got back to my college apartment, my mother gave me a hug, said “I love you, call me if you need me” and walked out the door.

Parents do not have the right to say on campus even if they pay all the bills for their child. Everything at college is in the student’s name, not the parents, even if the parents pay the bills.

Parents should wait until later in the semester to visit and/or stay the night. The first few weeks of school is when students meet each other to form different relationships (friends, associates, study partners, etc). If parents are waiting at the local hotel to get students after classes, those students tend to miss forming those relationships or they are delayed until a later time. For an example a student made a ‘C’ on an assignment that could have been an ‘A’ if the student had met their study partner the first week of class instead of the third week.

Hey, "wrong"...

August 24th, 2010
9:00 am

…most colleges today REQUIRE freshmen students to live in the dorm – they can move out their second year – part of experiencing the total college “experience” which you obviously missed out on and did not need…


August 24th, 2010
9:04 am

Well, as some on here know, I have a coworker that is going to be heart broken over this..When they moved the daughter in, they were there for 4 days..They talk on the phone at least 8 times per day (while the Mother is at work), she gets a care package sent every two weeks..The “talk” back andd forth on FB several times per day..

The Mother calls about any problems that the daughter has, parking, housing, books, trips for band..You name it, she calls..Any time that a boy talks to the daughter, they talk about that..As I have said before, my list could go on and on, but I think y’all get the picture..

@MJG..I’m sure that Theresa will get you my info shortly and I am looking forward to lunch..As for your daughter/son, yeah they have to start somewhere with credit, so I think what you have done for them is great..

I think its wrong

August 24th, 2010
9:11 am

The colleges require students to live in dorms?

I would view that as a way for the college to try and get more money out of me. I would not attend a college like that. I paid tuition, bought my books, thats it. They weren’t getting one more dime from me.


August 24th, 2010
9:20 am

I remember when my dad drove me and one of my best friends to college. I was ready for him to go the minute he unpacked the u-haul. She, however, clung to my dad and insisted that he hang around for a few hours before leaving…big chicken…LOL! I am sure my dad appreciated it though, I think he was a little sad that his oldest would no longer be at home. My daughter is 5 years away, but I don’t think this will be an issue for us. I remember the first time I took her to Girl Scout camp and just like me, once she was signed in and her things were unpacked she was like “Love you, Bye.” (Admittedly, I got a glimpse of what my Dad must have felt and was a little sad).


August 24th, 2010
9:28 am

Uh, yes I can go overboard…I will give you that. I think it comes with age and experiences…who knows? I have ranted over lunch with other bloggers and enjoyed it.

Here is an example: my daughter’s room mate has provided the computer printer, in their dorm room. When we were setting things up, they had no printer paper. I mentioned that I have lots of it in my home office and would be glad to give them some. When my daughter was just home, I offered her a ream ( sp?).

She tells me, “Mom, we already bought some and it is too heavy to carry back to my dorm.!”

I ( rant) “Yes, but if you just keep one ream in your trunk….you will have it and not have to drive to the store to get it….quicker to dash to the car ( to get it from your trunk) than drive to the store . Cheaper if I GIVE it to you!”

I agree that I am known to rant about some things…:)


August 24th, 2010
9:29 am

No helicopter here; in fact, when my boys went


August 24th, 2010
9:31 am

@ I think its wrong

Hey, “wrong” … is actually correct. Many colleges require incoming freshman to say on campus with the following exceptions: 1) the student lives within 20-30 miles of the college 2) the freshman student is over 21 3)the student is married and/or 4) the student have children.


August 24th, 2010
9:32 am

Interesting “ceremonies”. It’s a little more difficult to enforce with some larger schools, where the actual “orientation” takes place over the summer and not during the first week they are on campus. Both of my kids are at large universities where we had to attend an orientation during the middle of the summer. One of the funniest moments during my son’s orientation was when the kids had one session in a separate building, and the parents had a meeting with the Dean, who proceeded to entertain us/embarrass us with stories of helicopter parents she had run into over the years. Especially amusing/jaw dropping was the one where the father called her demanding a transcript and information on the parents of a boy who had had the nerve to ask his daughter out for a date. Or the parent who called, hysterical, when she could not get her daughter on the phone (the daughter was in class — duh.) Or the parent who . . . well, you get the idea. At the orientation at my daughter’s school, the questions from the parents were eye-opening, to say the least. Especially the one from the mother who wanted to know who would be responsible for monitoring how her daughter spent her allowance — could she talk to the R.A. about that? The smothered giggles throughout the auditorium were amusing.

My kids’ high school had an “off to college” night (private college prep, so all the students head off to college after graduation. Whether they stay there or not is another story . . .) The questions from the parents were, in some cases, shocking to me. Especially the parents who expected that their children would comply with a curfew imposed by the parents from hundreds of miles away, or the ones who were excitedly talking about being able to check every single thing their child bought by reviewing their account electronically EVERY DAY! Oh. My. God.

My daughter has some interesting stories — the parents of this summer’s roommate gave their daughter a GPS phone so that they could track her every movement, and wanted her back in the dorm no later than midnight. Solution? Daughter simply left the phone in the dorm as she went out at night. Another set of parents require that their daughter, who is a senior and lives off campus, call her parents every day when she leaves campus, to reassure them that she has reached her apartment safely.

I hear these stories and I wonder if I am just too laissez-faire — and then decide that no, everyone else is crazy! For the record — I go, help them move in, spend a couple of hours helping them rearrange the room (lofting, etc.), did the Wal-Mart run for the forgotten items (they didn’t have cars their freshman year), kissed ‘em goodbye and left. My son did not come back home from August until the end of October. My daughter was busy with marching band and didn’t get home until almost November.

I will admit, when I dropped my eldest, my son, off for freshman year, it was hurried, because we only had an hour to move his stuff into the dorm before he had to be at freshman camp, a special program two days before official move-in for out-of-state students. I did cry. :-) Flash-forward to his sophomore year, when his sister and I were helping him move in. We were getting ready to leave when a cute little blonde dressed to the nines in a short black dress and heels knocks on his door, cooing, “Hi, ____, ready for dinner?” We beat a hasty retreat — no tears, just laughter. As it should be. :-)


August 24th, 2010
9:33 am

No helicopter mom here; in fact, quite the opposite. When my boys went to college, I was a single mom and too busy working and making a living to fuss over them, and they didn’t expect me to either. In fact, I only visited my younger son at his apartment in Tallhassee when he invited me to visit (older was a commuter student).


August 24th, 2010
10:03 am

This sounds more like my sons’ first day of kindergarten,when the principal inevitably had to say “Parents, leave!” , and we did.

We spent several hours moving my son into UGA, but did it the day after “official move-in day”, and saved hours of time. Once we got everything in, and the room set up, we went off to get a parking pass, books, etc. A late lunch out and we hit the road with a final kiss.
He is rooming with his buddy, and already knows many kids there, so he was more than ready to be independent.

MJG, my son also stayed in the hotel with us during orientation, as did many others. It wasn’t because he (or we) wasn’t ready to separate, it was because he wanted to sleep well, and that wasn’t going to happen in the dorm. I picked him up after the final on-campus activity at 11:00 that night, and he went back the next day after having breakfast with us. He didn’t have much to do at orientation, as he had already been given credit for all the courses most of the kids had to take tests for.

He told me he has met most of the kids on his floor now. He kept his door open and offered the brownies I sent up with him to those passing by. He LOVES it up there.


August 24th, 2010
10:09 am

I NEVER had access to my son’s UGA account and do not yet have access to my daughter’s we will see. She keeps track of her account and what needs to be done, so far.

My parents did not contribute a dime to my college education and I resented the fact that my grades were mailed to them, for review.

I never saw a copy of my son’s grades at UGA … EVER.
He is on his way to a Doctorate, so I guess they were o.k.

Living on campus is required for most freshman at UGA.
Our son moved out his sophomore year. We will see what our daughter decides to do.

@ wrong…my son also worked 15-20 hours per week during undergrad. He is working about 15 per week now and is overboard busy. My sister and I joke that he will feel like he is on vacation when he only has to work 40 hours per week with no schooling to worry about. He is almost guaranteed a job and has a scholarship from his employer too.

I myself worked at Wal Mart 25 hours per week during HS and college. I am positive my elementary education classes were not as hard as the math and science classes my kids take. I soon had a goal: get out of retail….not for me :>


August 24th, 2010
10:13 am

@ mattie…that is a new take on the hotel story. The student I referred to ( 3:29 a.m) told my daughter that her parents did not want her to sleep in the dorm. Learning how to sleep in a dorm is somewhat inevitable ( to me) unless you have the option to live off campus.

If my painters get finished today, I can get off of this blog…hahaha…I am hostage!

Why Dorms?

August 24th, 2010
10:15 am

Explain to me the benefits of dorm life. I am sitting here trying to decide why that would be helpful.


August 24th, 2010
10:24 am

@MJG..My coworker is just the oposite (sp?)..She has access to all of her daughters accounts at her college and calls every day to check on something..She is the same way about her son..He’s in techinal school closer to home and she is always on the phone trying to find out about his hope money or refunds for his books, blah, blah..

Her daughter will call her to tell her that she’s sick and Mom gets on the phone right away to make a Dr. appt.. The son is 20 and she calls him every day to make sure that he’s getting up to get ready to go to work..Of course he’s not allowed to drive on the interstate, as it’s to dangerous..

I am sure that your son and daughter will do just fine in the “real” world when all of their schooling is doen and they are “grown”..


August 24th, 2010
10:34 am

My oldest is going off to college next year and I am looking forward to her becoming her own individual. I will be concerned about helicopter grand parents if she attends school near their home.

Colleges now allow the students to give parents permission to see grades, accounts, etc. I will have access to at least grades if I am paying the bill. No exception. I know tooo many people who just sent the money and attended graduations to realize that their child was not graduating. I will not pay for failure. However, I don’t need to know how much she spent where and on what. If plan to send an allowance and once it is gone, she is on her own.

My mother drove me to school, bought my books, gave me some money and left town the next morning. My second year of school I drove myself and bought everything I needed. I hope I remember this next year.


August 24th, 2010
10:43 am

@Why Dorms?

I for one an ever grateful for living in the dorms my freshman year. I graduated from UGA in May and went straight into my Masters. When I moved into college, I suffered from a real deep depression. It wasn’t that my mom wanted to stay- I didn’t want her to leave. My dad passed away when I was in 11th grade, my older brother by 4 years was suffering from personal problems and was kind of out of the picture at the time, my sister was married and had moved out, and I was so sad that I was going to leave my mom in our house all alone. My mom and I were, and still are, best friends- it’s hard seeing her so lonely. I also knew I would be lonely, as we were each other’s support.
I was lucky enough to live in OHouse, which was great, because it is the only dorm in which your next door neighbor can be of the opposite sex. I can get along with girls, but not too many of them for too long of a time. I met my best friends down the hall- two guys- freshman year and if it weren’t for them, I likely would not have stayed at school that year. They were my support. Once I got my antidepressants under control, it was much better- but I had not admitted to myself that I was depressed. I felt like medicine couldn’t fix my problem. I am an outgoing person, but also have extreme ADD, so I do not focus on meeting people in my classes. I have to sit in the front and just pay attention the whole time. My dorm friends can be partially credited for my success.

My mom tried to stay away freshman year, but in addition to missing her I also had a boyfriend at home and went home frequently. I was not real close with my roommate the first semester (it was a random roommate), but we got much closer second semester. Starting second semester, I stopped going home as frequently, and my mom only came up occasionally when invited. She would always come, invited my friends out to lunch/dinner, then go home.

After freshman year, I lived in an apartment. My mom helped me move in, and then left. My junior, senior, and now first year of grad school, I have lived in the same house. My mom helped me move in the first day, and now only comes up to go out to eat every now and then. We usually just meet up at my sisters house, which is half way between here an home.

I still have my bad days, mental health wise. I get really lonely at times, but have gotten a dog to help that problem, and it was the best decision of my life. It took a lot of convincing from my mom, since she still helps me pay my bills. She had always said that I could get a dog once I was 100% financially on my own. Once my psychiatrist suggested I keep a dog that I was fostering, I was able to convince her. I have also gotten extremely close to my sister, and probably go visit her (or vice versa) at least once every other week.

Financially, my mom still helps out. I do have a job, but school comes first and the job does not give enough money to pay rent, bills, etc. I pay for as much as I can, and then my mom helps out with what I cannot do. This semester I have a feeling it will be rougher, because of my school load, I feel as though I will not be able to work as much.

Hey, LWA......

August 24th, 2010
10:46 am

…you wrote “I will have access to at least grades if I am paying the bill. No exception” – uh, only if your kid gives them to you at the end of the semester – you may be able to get him or her to let you have their password to access their student accounts, but if they balk your only recourse is to drop their “sponsorship” – no exceptions to this rule, either…


August 24th, 2010
10:47 am

Becky – my ex sister in law talks to her mother at least 5 times a day. She also calls her daughter, who is now in college, at least 8 times a day. When they first got divorced, she would call her daughter every 10 minutes. It was very annoying.

My daughter and I communicate by texting, maybe once or twice a day, I update her on things going on at home, and she tells me a few things going on with her. She calls me at least every two days. I know she is fine, she is independant and I have raised her to be that way. I know she is off on this new adventure in her life, and so am I. She needs to make her own decisions, and suffer any consequences those decisions may bring.

Now, my neighbor is a helicopter mom. She does EVERYTHING for her 20 year daughter, who has a two year old. This 20 year cannot function on her own. They allow her to drink, and smoke, and basically do whatever she wants. There is no respect in that house nor is there any structure. I think that is doing a horrible dis-service for the kids. I have allowed my daughter to fall on more than one occasion, and she has learned from that. If I do everything for her, how is she going to learn to stand on her own two feet?


August 24th, 2010
10:51 am

To this day, at 22, I still talk to my mom at least every 2-3 days, but usually every day. I always call. I just like to say hey and see how everything is going. It’s more of a friendly chat than a check in. Just like chatting with a best friend.

Slacker Mom

August 24th, 2010
10:52 am

On one hand, I can see where it might be useful to give some parents a not-so-subtle hint that it’s time to let go, but at the same time I really don’t understand why colleges and universities think it’s their place to dictate these matters to students and their families.

My cousin just started her freshman year of college and not only does the university she’s attending require freshmen to live on campus, but they are not even allowed to have a car! I could never have tolerated any school I was paying tuition to (and I did pay part of my tuition myself) infringing on my personal freedom that way. Most of these kids are, legally anyway, adults and should be given a little more respect. Going off to college is an important opportunity for kids to establish some boundaries both for themselves and for their parents. A lot of universities these days just seem to be taking over the parenting role and by doing so they are robbing freshmen, and even upperclassmen, of an important opportunity to enjoy and appreciate their independance and the personal responsibility that comes with it.


August 24th, 2010
10:55 am

@ hey…that is what I was thinking re: access.

LWA: COMMUNICATION is the big issue and TRUST. Any parent who
“attended graduations to realize that their child was not graduating” should wear the STUPID hat.
I have not yet met these folks.

I am with DB on this one:

“The questions from the parents were, in some cases, shocking to me.”

The behavior of some parents is also INSANE. Oh well, their kids are not my kids!

I do know lots of kids who will be in college for 6-8 years, having fun on their parent’s dime. Not happening here.


August 24th, 2010
11:03 am

@Why Dorms?

If you are a shy/antisocial person, being in the dorms will help you to overcome that since you will be forced to get to know at least one person on campus…your roommate. Whether or not you like them is another issue. Most dorms are conveniently located to the lecture halls so if you wake up late, you can still get to class in a decent amount of time. There will be multiple late night study partners. If you do not have a car, you can find a job on campus and still have the ability to get to work. Dorm life makes it easier to participate in student organizations. For enclosed campuses, or campuses that only have one location, security is usually better because the campus police (some work for the schools local jurisdiction) are visible.

At some schools, it is cheaper to live on campus than in near by apartments, while the reverse is true for other schools. At my sister’s college it was cheaper to live in the apartments across the street than it was to live on campus. At my college, at first it was a comparable rate to live on campus, now it is just plain expensive to live on campus with a roommate.

If your dorms are priced comparably to the surrounding apartments with the important utilities included (gas, water, electric, internet), if you do not have a car and you are a shy/antisocial person, live on campus for the experience.

If your dorms are expensive compared to surrounding apartments w/utilities, stay off campus.

Hey, Slacker Mom......

August 24th, 2010
11:04 am

…while you’re venting about universities “taking over the parenting role” did you ever pause to think that many universities limit freshmen from having cars due to the fact that they have no parking for them? Did you ever think that maybe the schools may not be taking over those roles, but are instead helping to mould “growing up” by encouraging independence and one’s ability to think for themselves, rather than “robbing” them of those opportunities?

Please re- read some of the posts above involving some of the questions asked by the parents at some of the orientations – those will give you some insight as to just what the schools are up against in “teaching” as well as “educating” their students…


August 24th, 2010
11:06 am

@ slacker…sometimes the car issue is a matter of not enough parking.

I do not think Freshman can have a car at GA Tech. Parking permits are really high there. My daughter pays nearly $300 this year for a parking permit.

Her friends are expected to chip in $5 for gas if they want to ride home with her on the weekend, to see their family. If their parents prefer to drive out there and get their kids for $5, that is fine with me. It is 45 miles one way. She is paying for her car and parking. We pay the insurance.


August 24th, 2010
11:07 am

I hear you MJG, re: the students on the 6-8 year plan – my recently graduated son has most of his friends still there for at least the 5th year – taking what he calls the ‘victory lap’ – he wanted to do that, too, but it wasn’t happening, as you say, on my dime – and he sure wasn’t about to incur that cost – LOL


August 24th, 2010
11:13 am

Ha! I’m an only child, and you would think my parents would have smothered me in college. Definitely not the case. They helped me move in, went back to their hotel, and I hung out with my new roommate and got to know the rest of the girls on my dorm hall that night. The next morning before they headed home, we did the Wal-mart and grocery run, and then it was a hug goodbye. They called maybe once a week or so and that was it (I admit I called them more often than they called me).

Once, during my sophomore year after I was allowed to have a car on campus, my car wouldn’t start when I had to leave for an off-campus job. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I called my dad, who was four hours away and did the whole “Daaaaad! My car won’t staaaaart!” God bless him, my dad didn’t miss a beat and immediately said “Well, what do you want me to do about it?” Ha! I handled calling AAA and getting a jump start and going to the nearest auto repair shop myself. It was a good lesson in fending for myself.

Hopefully this will bode well for when I send my girls off to college in about 15 years. ;)

Slacker Mom

August 24th, 2010
11:25 am

@Hey, Slacker Mom, actually I did read the other pretty carefully posts, since that is sort of the point of a blog.

If a school doesn’t have adequate parking, then it shouldn’t REQUIRE any student to live on campus.

The point of my post was that it is the student’s responsibility to establish the boundaries with their family. Having had somewhat overbearing parents myself, I can tell you this is a life skill they will need long past early adulthood. The quicker these they learn it, the better.

Personally, I think the role of a college is to “broaden your horizons” through higher education, not “mould” (sic) you into adulthood. I feel sorry for college kids. They have been bossed around their whole live by parents and school administrators, then they go off to college for just more of the same. Stand back and let these kids have some freedom! You’ll be amazed at what they can do.


August 24th, 2010
11:26 am

@MJG and lakerat

Some students are graduating in 5 and 6 years because they are working at Internships and Co-ops. The Co-op program at my school required that students take 3 semesters off to work full-time with a co-op company, alternating the semesters between school and work. So the junior year that would have taken two maybe three semesters to complete now takes six semesters or two years to complete.

On the other hand, I will agree those who take 6 or more years to complete a four year degree that were not in an internship, co-op, or any other program partied a year or two.


August 24th, 2010
11:36 am

I think it’s sad that colleges have had to resort to telling parents to leave quite frankly.

Will I be sad when the boy moves out and goes off to college? I’m quite sure I’ll be thrilled for him and a little sad for us to have an empty home but then again, I’m looking forward to that phase in my life when I can focus a little more on my career and find a hobby!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 24th, 2010
11:39 am

MJG Becky — sorry — for some reason mjg’s address wouldn’t pull on my phone gmail so I needed to log in which i am doing now –= sorry!!

It's not 'sic', Slacker mom...

August 24th, 2010
11:44 am

“Molding or moulding is the process of manufacturing by shaping pliable raw material” it can also fungi, but I digress – see, I am not a slacker…

And WHAT? You wrote “if a school doesn’t have adequate parking, then it shouldn’t REQUIRE any student to live on campus”. That is just an absurd statement – if there is not adquate parking then where is anyone going to live other than ON campus where they do not NEED a car? And remember, this is for their freshman year only…


August 24th, 2010
11:47 am

@ motherjanegoose – that was the problem. They trusted their son and he never gave them reason to not trust him. They just paid the tuition bill. I told my daughter that I trusted her to do the right thing. Pay for it yourself or give me access.

@ hey LWA… I know. My daughter adn I have had this converstation. I don’t spend/send one red cent without access. No exceptions.

The only thing I will helicopter is my money that is spent on tuition.

Hey, LWA...

August 24th, 2010
11:50 am

I understand that sentiment…’cause it does ‘fly away’ in a hurry…


August 24th, 2010
11:58 am

@Claire..That’s great to talk to your Mom every 2-3 days..I wish I still had my Mom to call..This coworkers daughter calls to tell her what color shirt she is wearing to school..what she ate for breakfast..what the French teacher said in class.. I just don’t think that you should call your Mom 8-10 times per day while she’s at work to talk about these types of things..

@JJ..The coworker lives at home with her Mom, so another thing that is real annoying is that the daughter will call her Mom at work and talk about whatever, then my coworker will call her Mom at home and repeat everything to her..Then she will discuss everything about her daughter to a lot of our customers that she has to talk to each day..To each their own I guess..

Mrs. G

August 24th, 2010
12:05 pm

I don’t have any experience with dropping kids off at college yet, but this brings back memories! When I went off to college (and I lived in the dorms my freshman year), my parents were not kicked off campus (nor did they need to be).

I went to school about 20 minutes from my parents’ house (my parents were moving out of state that fall, so that was why I lived in the dorms) and we drove two cars to the school with my things the morning of move-in day. After getting everything to the fourth flour room (via stairs), my dad helped my roommate and I hook up our fridge, microwave, computers, printer, etc. and my mom helped me unpack things. We may have gone out to lunch (I can’t remember) and then they left, leaving me by myself (well, with my roommate and the other girls on my floor…and my boyfriend at the time one floor down) – I loved it! I was ready to explore the campus and meet people without my family there.

I didn’t go home very often – maybe once or twice a month and for special occasions, like birthdays. I think that my mom had a difficult time “letting me go” – she wanted me to go home more often than I did and called me regularly, upset that we didn’t talk enough. She ultimately adapted, though, and gave me my space. We would go days without talking. The funny thing is that I’m now the one (at 27) always calling her and telling her that I wish we talked more (I call her every day on my way home from work, just to chat). I don’t think she and I would be as close as we are now had she not finally stepped back and let me do my own thing when I was in college.