Summer before college syndrome - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#1 of 6 Old 08-05-2011, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
daylily's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Virginia
Posts: 4,035
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Is your child leaving for college soon?  Is he/she exhibiting the following symptoms: 

  • moody
  • withdrawn
  • rebellious
  • never home
  • cranky
  • prefers to be with friends rather than family
  • uninterested in preparations to move into dorms/start at the school she so eagerly applied to last fall?
  • appears to hate her parents and siblings?


DD has been driving us CRAZY.  She has always been fairly easygoing, well behaved and serious, and suddenly she's like a stranger.  I'm sure it's all related to anxiety over leaving home, but I'm worried because I don't want her to be miserable at school.  My son went away to college last year and I don't recall that he put us through this.  Has anyone else seen their teen turn into a monster just before going away to school?



daylily is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 6 Old 08-06-2011, 06:31 PM
mariamadly's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,219
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 230 Post(s)

DS1 left for school two years ago and DS2 is on his way later this month.  The summer between high school and college is excruciating!  They were/are both so restless and nervous, flared up or snapped at us -- not exactly your daughter's list, but their own version.  I've heard it referred to as "nest soiling," which cracked me up.  It helped a lot that each of them was open about it and knew we were all under stress.

Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989) and DS2 (1992). Caregiver to my mother (1930). Married to DH since 1986.
mariamadly is offline  
#3 of 6 Old 08-10-2011, 04:20 PM
TwinMom's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: hiding in the bathroom
Posts: 1,801
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My kid who's off to college next week has none of those symptoms! She's always been an oddball, though. orngbiggrin.gif

Homeschooling mom to four kids, ages 18, 18, 10, and 6. 

TwinMom is offline  
#4 of 6 Old 08-10-2011, 04:57 PM
Dar's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 11,209
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
My kid heads off to college next week and she hasn't had any of these either... but she also just got home a few days ago from a summer job that kept her super-busy, so I don't think she's really had time to stress out about college. She said she's feeling a bit anxious right now, but she's also super-busy getting ready and saying good-bye to all her friends, so I think that mitigates it a lot. I hope so, anyway!

fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


Dar is offline  
#5 of 6 Old 08-12-2011, 06:07 AM
ollyoxenfree's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,903
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)


DS starts university in a couple of weeks, but he's staying home so there isn't the agitation of preparing to move away. I have noticed that he seems to be conserving energy since he returned from working at a summer camp. He seems to be more quiet and it's as if he is waiting. It's a little like he's in a cocoon, getting ready to emerge.  


He isn't withdrawn, though. He's still seeing and getting out with his friends. He been making an effort to join family activities too. Last night, we saw an outdoor Shakespeare-in-the-park production, a family tradition every summer. I wasn't counting on him to come with us, because he's so often busy with his friends, but he did.  


I figure that it's one of those transition times and all he needs is some breathing room and support while he figures things out. 


If you're sure there's nothing else going on like relationship troubles or problems at work or with friends, then I'd just offer some support and empathize with her. Likely (hopefully), a week or two after she starts classes you'll get an excited e-mail about how great college is!  



ollyoxenfree is offline  
#6 of 6 Old 08-12-2011, 09:08 AM
JollyGG's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,631
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

Not a parent of a teen, but I do remember being the teen. My parents claim that I was just unbearable for that summer. I personally remember the conflict coming from both sides. I was going a distance away to college and I think they were trying to cling to their little girl (smothering me a bit) and I was trying to establish my independence and adulthood (probably disrespecting them). I remember chafing at the rules. After all I was already over 18 and wouldn't be in their house following their rules soon.


I remember a huge blow out about my job. I quit my job a week before I was supposed to leave because I wanted to spend some time with friends and get everything packed and ready to go. They wanted me to work right up until I left to show my responsibility and to save up money for school.


Basically they were looking for reassurance that I could survive on my own so far from home by me behaving in the manner they wanted, and got upset and authoritarian when that didn't happen.


I was looking for reassurance that I could survive on my own so far from home by them trusting me and allowing me to make my own decisions as an adult, and behaving in a rebellious manner when that didn't happen.


None of us were communicating effectively.

Mom to DS 4/24/03 and DD 4/17/06
JollyGG is offline  

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 8,212

13 members and 8,199 guests
alenamiy , anacrish , davilaolga766 , Dooby , hillymum , IsaFrench , katelove , moominmamma , rhutes , SPrada , Tara 1st Timer , transylvania_mom
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.