On the Eve of her Departure for College
My Dearest Daughter,
As difficult as it will be to say goodbye to you tomorrow, I’m excited to see you take this next step toward independence. Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday that we were the proud parents of the largest bundle of joy in the nursery. Even though you were the size of a ten-pound roaster coming out of my uterus, that was no excuse for your father’s pleas to name you “Big Bertha” (you can blame your birth weight on me for all those late night runs to the Burger Barn when I was pregnant).
The house will feel so empty after you’re gone. I’ll miss your impromptu twerking lessons (even though they landed me in a chiropractor’s office) and watching marathon episodes of Orange Is The New Black with you. And I can’t imagine how I’ll fill all that extra closet space in your bedroom once you move out. Perhaps I’ll convert the space into a sewing room where I can knit all the dust bunnies from under your bed into a furry parka.
I’m also going to miss your designer touch on the bathroom walls. The conglomeration of splattered toothpaste and makeup smears always provided an eye-catching Jackson Pollock mural for our guests. No one else on the block could say they had a bathroom that doubled as an art museum!
The only thing I won’t miss when you’re gone is the laundry piled higher than Mount Rushmore on your bedroom floor and having to dig your shredded thongs out of the washing machine agitator. You’ll have to do this yourself if you insist on wearing underwear small enough to double as dental floss.
On the bright side, I’ll no longer be buying hair gel and tampons in bulk, which means I can use the extra money for my Depends fund. I hear the company is bringing sexy back with designer brand adult diapers. Don’t worry—I won’t tell you whether or not I’m wearing them when I drive up for parents weekend at your school.
Before I drop you off at your dorm tomorrow and cry a river of makeup, I’d like to share some motherly advice with you:
Study hard. High school is a breeze compared to college. Even though you’d rather take Partying 101, you need to learn more than the art of mixology while you’re at the university.
Always be yourself. Don’t conform to what others expect you to be. Just because you hoard Chia pets, Elvis plates, and Crocs in every color of the rainbow, this does not mean that you need to change your habits for others. Be proud of who you are and embrace your inner weirdness. You are, after all, your father’s daughter.
Forget about the “freshman fifteen.” It’s easy to load up on carbs when the cafeteria serves pasta and garlic rolls daily. Don’t worry if you gain a few pounds—most girls do—but make sure you eat something green every once in a while. The only number you need to be concerned about is your GPA, not the one on the scale.
Beware of mysterious party punch. “Hunch Punch” turns into Hump Punch if you drink too much of it. A word of warning: NEVER leave your drink unattended. There are some scumbags out there who would love to “enhance” your drink when you’re not looking. When in doubt, throw it out.
Choose your friends wisely. Your best friend will be the one who holds your hair out of your face while you’re ralphing up dollar beers in a bar bathroom. Stay away from the drama queen types— their tongues are sharper than the imaginary tiaras they wear.
Watch your manners and be thoughtful of others. When you come home late at night with the munchies, don’t assume it’s okay to eat your roommate’s food just because you share the same mini fridge. People are territorial about their leftovers. Eating the last Fudgsicle is grounds for a roommate intervention.
And for the love of all that is holy, NEVER microwave cabbage or fish in the dorm kitchen unless you have riot gear handy.
Choose your dates carefully. If you meet a guy who is more interested in your cup size than your I.Q., ditch the douchebag. Find yourself a nice guy who will bring you flowers for no reason and who isn’t afraid to serenade you outside your dorm while wearing an alpaca costume.
Don’t fall into the gossip sinkhole. People who say crap behind your back are most likely jealous of you. Don’t stoop to their level by spreading hate. Keep your mouth shut, hold your head high, and wait for karma to strike. There’s a special place in hell for mean girls.
Budget your money. There’s this really cool appliance called a washing machine. Use it, rather than hitting Walmart every week for new underwear because you’re too lazy to do your own laundry. You can also visit the buffet at the school cafeteria rather than blowing your entire scholarship fund on pizza and iced lattes at Starbucks.
Don’t do stupid shit you might regret. Unless you want to be an overnight sensation on YouTube, don’t do something dumb, especially when alcohol is involved. Dancing naked in the campus fountain or driving through a corn field for a joy ride is unacceptable. No one will believe the crop circles you created were caused by aliens. The corn husks trapped on your windshield will be a dead giveaway.
Think before you act and make wise decisions. In other words, don’t let your mug shot be your graduation picture.
Your father and I are proud of your accomplishments and your fierce independence. These are admirable qualities that every parent hopes for in their children. But this doesn’t mean you have to tough everything out on your own—if you need some advice, our door is always open. Just be sure to knock first… I don’t want you to end up on a psychiatrist’s couch after walking in on our twisted version of The Taming Of The Shrew. Daddy just got a new prescription for Viagra and a box of designer Depends.
For those of you who have Sons and not Daughters – don’t worry, we haven’t left you out. Marcia Kester Doyle has also written a piece about Sons going off to college. You can read it on her blog here.
(Note from the editor: Many thanks to Marcia Kester Doyle (Menopausal Mum) for joining us as a house-guest! Marcia is the author of “Who Stole My Spandex”, read more about her here. To become a house-mate and contribute articles to The Glass House, click here)