How To Say Bye To Your Freshman

When dropping your kid off at college, don't gush or give advice--and save your tears for the parking lot

For parents of college-bound students, D-Day is fast approaching. D, in this case, is for departure, for decreasing the number of children at home, and for debt too, but you'll get to enjoy that one for many months to come. Freshman orientation begins soon, and after the final days of farewell parties, of packing and loading and fretting, of last-minute lists and purchases, "orientation" sounds wonderful--yet you've never been so disoriented in your life.

I'm an orientation veteran, having already moved my daughter out of my life and into the start of hers. It's an odd sensation: for 18 years you've...

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