Dropping Off My College Student

It’s August now, back to school time. I was going to write something like “Tips for Dropping Off Your College Freshman.” Turns out, I’m not qualified to give you any advice on how to drop your kid off at college! Yes, sure, I’ve done it before. But that was in 2019. And then 2020 went all pear-shaped anyway.

What would I have told myself before dropping her off that day, had I known? Buy cold medicine? (Actually, yes. Bring cold medicine and your pain-reliever of choice. Your kid won’t want to haul herself to the pharmacy to get medicine when they feel crummy.)

You may think I’d be more qualified than others to have advice about dropping off your freshman. I’ve been parenting for a while. My kids no longer go to library story time; in fact, my soon-to-be college freshman actually drives herself to the Coralville Public Library to volunteer. 

white girl with blue eyes and bangs
She’s only four, I don’t know how I’m letting her go off to college

I can’t even really tell you what you’ll need to bring, even though I literally wrote that column. Some of the things we buy end up being unnecessary. Some things we never considered become urgently needed. It’s a good thing that box stores and Amazon exist.

Parental love is the only kind of love that urges the loved one to leave. We’ve successfully parented when our kids are ready to fly on their own, knowing we have given them the courage to do so.

I can’t tell you what to do. I can’t even tell you what I’ll do when we drop kid #2 off at college. I might be fine. I might be a wreck.

At least I still have one at home. Check back with me in three years to know how I’m doing then.

Two young white girls kneeling next to a dirt patch, smiling
How are these two possibly old enough for college?
Sharon Falduto is a Central Iowa native who came to University of Iowa in 1991 and essentially never left the area. She is involved in local community theater, notably as one of the co-founders of Iowa City's Dreamwell Theatre. She has also directed children's plays with the Young Footliters group. Sharon works in with English Language Learners in a support position at Kirkwood Community College.. She lives in Coralville with her husband, Matt, and three daughters Rachel, Samantha, and Piper.


  1. Same and same. Oldest one has been to college, middle is about to go, youngest is still at home. My list is made, tears have already been shed and will be shed, and yet I’m SO excited for his adventure! Good luck with everything!


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