Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.Full Bio
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Maybe it's because I saw some leaves on the ground this morning (it's hard to believe the trees are already beginning to shed) that I started thinking about college. If you're getting ready to send your child off to college, you're probably getting real busy right about now.
When my own sons went off to college, high school issues that once seemed so stressful - like asking a girl to the prom or getting picked for the tennis team - seemed minor compared with the transitions they were now making by living away from home. Once settled at college, all sorts of concerns began to surface: how to sleep in a dorm with noisy roommates, figuring out how to balance workload and social life, finding ways to eat healthy in a dining hall, how to avoid catching every contagious illness that was passed around from living in such close quarters and how to deal with big-time stress. Basically, they had to learn how to take charge of their own health and manage their independence. No more mommy to do their laundry...or be there to stop the bleeding when they cut themselves.
To help soothe their anxiety (and yours) here's something helpful: a College Health Guide, a joint effort between HealthyWomen.org and Bed Bath & Beyond. It's full of great information that they'll need, including tips for getting a good night's sleep and ways to avoid the famous "freshman 15." I wish this had been around when my boys were in college!
I cried (secretly!) when I kissed my sons goodbye and walked away from their dorm room, knowing now that the bulk of my work as a parent was done. You might, too. I felt like I was losing a part of them.
But be reassured that they DO come back - and it's always much, much sooner than you'd ever expect.