The Different Summer… BEFORE Empty Nest plus College To Do List

Summer To Do List

The Different Summer and College To Do List

It’s a different summer.

This one lacks the carefree feeling of previous school breaks that were savored by this stay-at-home turned work-from-home mom. Instead, the air is permeated with a weightier, heavier, sometimes suffocating feeling that life is about to change as we prepare for an empty nest.

Preparing for our only child to leave home.

While we started this summer with a memorable vacation, this time we traveled very early in the season in order to clear our schedules for other obligations. Although we played aboard a beautiful ship and took in the restorative breaths of ocean air, we also knew that we’d return home to a huge to-do list. That knowledge anchored us to our real worries waiting back on shore.

Family cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis.
A memorable family cruise!

The summertide has been gentle and rough. There have been days of placid joy and crashing heartache. I know why it’s been an odd season and it’s all due to my one and only child preparing to move to college.

In this different summer before our nest is empty

  • Our son graduated
  • Our son started his first job
  • I tried to put down work EVERY time my son walked in the room
  • We traveled to college orientation at Auburn University
  • We shopped for dorm stuff
  • We packed for the college move
  • We threw a farewell party for my son and his friends
  • Our son went to his own appointments (bank, doctor, and more!)
  • My husband and I celebrated our son’s achievements
  • We cried wondering where the years went
  • Our son spent extra time with us, with his friends, with his dog
  • I’ve watched friends stop over to say goodbye

While it hasn’t been as laid back, this summer has been rather nostalgic. As the moving date gets closer, we all feel the tug of childhood summers gone by. Popsicle memories and poolside visions crop up unannounced. Trips to visit grandparents, national parks, museums, foreign countries, oceans, and amusement parks seem long ago and then with a mind flux seem just yesterday.

Caribbean Beach Resort at WDW Check In with Luggage
Family Travel is Memorable.

It’s a different summer that I couldn’t imagine before it got here. It’s the kind of summer that other parents whisper about — that summer before your child moves away.

Summer Before College To Do List

  • Make plans to attend college orientation
  • Send final transcripts to the university
  • Have your child make a doctor appointment, get medical form for college filled out, and then sent to the university
  • Have your student open a new bank account
  • Get in touch with roommates
  • Get a dorm shopping list
  • See what you already have at home before shopping for the dorm room
  • Be sure to accept scholarships
  • Make a college budget and financial plan
  • Note all deadlines on a calendar (football tickets, parking registration, medical forms, etc.)
  • Make sure your student is checking their university email every day
  • Update insurance policies (health, car, renters)
  • Sign up for a move in date
  • Rent a large vehicle, if needed, for college move in day
  • Make hotel reservations early for move in, football weekends, Family weekend, etc.
  • Pack, pack, pack (don’t wait until the last minute when student and parents are nervous, tired, stressed, emotional)
  • Label all belongs with your student’s name, dorm, room number, and cell number
  • Prepare for auditions (marching band, etc.) and other activities
  • It’s not too late to teach a few more life skills (laundry, bathroom cleaning, making dentist appointments, budgeting, and more)
  • SEE MORE Summer Before College To Do List Items HERE

For us with an only child, it’s also the summer before empty nest.

Preemie, Kindergartener, Senior. The road to an empty nest.
On the way to an empty nest.

In less than one week we will once again drive to an inspiring and beautiful campus nestled in Auburn, Alabama. But, we will drive home as empty nesters. Our wings are ready to take on new adventures but our hearts will be rooted to a young man living in a different state.

It’s an exciting time mixed with sadness. The emotional see-saw of pride and sorrow is real.

YET as parents of a 28-week preemie, we are counting our blessings that we even had these past 18 years.

Preemie Parenting - Never Take a Single Breath for Granted!
Preemie Parenting – Never Take a Single Breath for Granted!

THAT knowledge puts the next chapter of our lives in perspective.

From preemie to young adult!
From preemie to young adult!

We are getting ready to turn the page…

Have you experienced The Different Summer before empty nest?

Preparing for our only child to leave home.

Kimberly LaPaglia

Kimberly shared her passion for Disney when she was selected for the inaugural Walt Disney World Moms Panel and then as the first Disney Cruise Line panelist. As a Disney Mom, she helped countless families plan their own dream-filled journeys. Blending her love for research, travel, and writing, Kim has been an editor for Disney Food Blog for nearly 8 years. At The Castle Concierge, she blogs about travel, parenting, celebrations, and the road to empty nesting.

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