Why Moms Cry at College Drop Off + What NOT to Say to Make it Worse

Hey yall!

Moms are emotional. We all know this. But on college drop off day there’s no holding it in. They will release the flood gates and you will probably shed a tear too, jut let it happen. Trust me, your mom is crying for many many different reasons. But be careful about what you say at college drop off, you don’t want to make it worse for her!

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Why Your Mom is Crying at College Drop Off:

1. They love you so much that it is unbearable to see you grow up before her eyes and head off to college.

2. Are you her first child to head to college? That’s a huge milestone for her and she is super proud of you for accomplishing such an awesome thing, but of course she’s sad to see her oldest leave the house.

3. Are you her last child to head to college? Having the house empty of kids to take care of might sound peaceful to you, but for your mom it’s heartbreaking because being a mom is what she loves to do and now you’re leaving her with an empty nest. It’s emotional.

My Drifting Desk | Conquer College. 65 Things They Don't Tell You at College Orientation

4. She realizes that you don’t need her as much anymore. You are growing up, you’re moving out, you’re an adult now. She realizes that over time she could become less important to you (but you better not let that happen!). She won’t be waking you up in the mornings, making you dinner, checking in on your curfews anymore. You’ll be (hopefully) waking yourself up for school, eating on your own with your meal plan or grocery shopping for yourself now, and since you are in college there are no curfews for you. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want.

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5. And that brings us to #5. Your mom is crying because ultimately you being on your own is scary for her. What happens when you’re sick, if you’re hurt, if your heart broken, etc. All those ways your mom was there for you she no longer can. She may feel helpless in protecting you when you’re so far away from home. And let’s face it, you and I both know that your mom knows you’re going to go out and party and make some poor decisions. We all do, it’s college, and that scares her a bit.

6. All those things that once irritated your mom will soon become things she misses about you. Once you’re gone she’ll miss your sarcasm, your laugh, your music blaring at 10:00pm, she’ll miss you forget to pick up your coat, she’ll miss yelling at you to do the dishes. She’ll miss it all, and thinking about missing you makes her sad.


7. Your mom obviously wants to see you do great things and succeed in college but thinking towards the future, if you do great and go onto grad school that could take you further away from her or take you away for longer and your mom is going to miss you terribly.

8. Ultimately that moment when you both hug for the last time and say your goodbyes she knows your walking towards a bright new future and a fun new chapter of your life that you are super excited for. Your mom is walking towards a home and life without you constantly in it. She’s walking towards possibly an empty nest at home. She’s walking away from a little piece of her heart, that’s you, and that’s painful.

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Your mother will no doubt shed some tears, and if not in front of you, then definitely on the car ride home after drop off. It’s normal and natural for your mom to miss you and cry a little, but I want to warn you about some key topics or things to say to ensure drop off and move in day go as smoothly as possible so you don’t make leaving harder on your mom.

What Not to Say at College Drop Off:

1. Don’t talk excessively about how excited you are to get out of the house, out of your city, and possibly your state. Again, your mom wants you close and hearing about how badly you want to get away from her could upset her and hurt her feelings.

2. When you are setting up your dorm room and your mom tries to help you, don’t tell her no. Don’t tell her you don’t like her ideas. Let her help you decorate and set things up. This is her last moment to feel needed and appreciated before you leave for college and partaking in this small bonding experience of setting up your dorm means so much more to her than it does to you.

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3. Don’t say it’s not a big deal that you’re leaving because trust me, it is a HUGE deal to your mom.

4. Whatever you do, don’t lie to your mom. Do not tell her you will call once a week if you don’t plan on doing it!!!!!! That will only crush her heart. Don’t tell her you’ll visit once a month, call weekly, and write her daily if that’s not what you plan on doing.

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5. Don’t rush her off at the end of the day and just say goodbye. Let her take as long as she needs to accept what’s happening. Let her hang out and help you set up and when it’s time to go, don’t just say goodbye. Let her know how much she means to you, how much you’ll miss her, and thank her for everything she’s done to get you where you are today. Make sure she knows how much you appreciate her and make sure she knows this goodbye is hard on you too. I know you’re super excited for college, but get excited after she leaves.

6. Don’t hide your mom when people on your floor walk by to introduce themselves. Your mom wants to meet them too. Introduce her and make her feel included and welcomed. You’re not too cool for your mom, trust me. Everyone’s parents are there helping too, you’re not the only one.



Please love and appreciate your mom for everything she’s done for you on this big day. She will remember this day for the rest of her life and you want her to remember you being loving and kind to her, not cold and stand-off-ish.

My Drifting Desk | Conquer College


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