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Southern Stories
Lessons from my Southern Mom: Sending a Daughter Off To College
Aug 08/16

Lessons from my Southern Mom: Sending a Daughter Off To College Posted by: Aaron Stearns | 1 Comment

So the time that you have both longed for and feared has finally come: it’s time to make the long drive and drop your daughter, still a mere teenager, off at college. But what do you say to her after you’ve carefully unpacked and neatly folded all of her clothes and put them in her drawers, and she is glowing with excitement and anxiously giving you that “You can leave now” look? We’re not going to lie; it’s not going to be easy. But here is some advice that you can pass along to her that you can pray for the next sixteen weeks sticks. At least some of it.

  • Be punctual. Nothing is more disrespectful than arriving “fashionably late” to class, a meeting, or a group study. Get up in plenty of time to get ready and be not only ready to learn, but ready to impress.
  • Remember your manners. No cattiness, rudeness, or disrespecting others. But if you find yourself in a situation where you feel threatened, you forget about being polite and make as much ruckus as possible.
  • Take time for yourself. You will be overrun with parties, boys, football games, and who-knows-what-else. Not to mention your classes and studying. But remember to take time to rest, go to a movie alone, walk at sunrise, sit alone under the stars. Don’t get so caught up in everyone else that you forget yourself.

And, above all else, have fun. This will go by much faster for you (and slower for me) that you can ever imagine.


By Paula Martin
Paula Martin was born and raised in Arkansas and received her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of New Orleans. She is a writer, teacher, mom, barefoot trail runner, martial artist, and free-thinker always packed and ready for the next adventure. 



W. Neal Gray on August 09 2016 at 12:54AM

Great article. Very true. We remember well, but now for us it is our grand kids. (2 grads &2 masters) Daughter & son 64 &68
Carolyn Lindsey & Tommy Polk you have done well. From Carolyn & W. Neal Gray


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