College: One Mom’s Experience of Sending Her Youngest Off


The time has arrived and our youngest son is off to college. Wow is all I can say. Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday I was dropping him off at kindergarten.

Parenthood is funny. We all work so hard to get our kids to this point in life. Setting them up for the future. That’s what we all want right? So why am I so sad and so hurt he is leaving? So many different emotions. But this has always been the plan, the preparation all these years. Here’s a glimpse of our journey and of what is coming soon for you mommas.

The day those admission letters came in was so exciting. The anticipation, that gut pain while he opened the letter. That day is so vivid in my brain. That excitement has come to a reality now that it’s time for the move. Yep, I said it–MOVING DAY has arrived. I have been preparing mentally for weeks and I’ll let you know I wasn’t as prepared as my brain and heart led me to believe. As I watched us stacking all the stuff we had bought for him each item was a reminder he was leaving. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of him and I know this is what’s best for his future.


Watching my son pack his stuff brought tears to my eyes. Yep, I cried and we hadn’t even packed the car; we hadn’t even moved him yet. The emotions were flowing–so many different ones. Happiness, sadness, joy, hurt, scared but most of all pride. Then the day came to pack the car. I’m telling you, mommas, it’s like a game of Tetris to pack a car with so many boxes and let’s not forget a mini fridge. Thankfully my husband works for UPS so his loading knowledge came in handy. Every inch of space was used. When it was time to hit the road, I cried again before even leaving the house. [I’ll give you a hint: there’s a lot of crying on this trip.] We left two days early before move-in day. That was on purpose and I totally recommend everyone to try to do the same. We wanted to just spend some alone time with our son, just the three of us. 

Image: Natasha and her husband taking their son to college


Well, the day arrived to move our son into his college dorm. Don’t worry, I cried again already. First things first–we cleaned and disinfected the dorm. Mommas trust me when I tell you it’s the very first thing you got to do. So while hubby and our son unloaded, this momma went into cleaning mode. When that was done, we could unpack. That for me was the best part: spending quality time with him and unpacking and helping him organize the room to his liking. This is a first for us; our other two kids studied locally and were equally proud of them. So, I must admit I was holding up well considering our first to go away. After he was all moved in, we needed to go shopping for groceries and last-minute things.


Shopping can be fun but for me, it isn’t always. I’m the type that likes to just go in and out fast. But this time I wanted to take my time. Every minute with him was precious to me. I was truly having a hard time letting go. But, enough about that. Somehow shopping felt so different this time. I even saw my son differently–such an amazing young man. I’ve always treasured all moments with our kids, something they may not understand till the day they are parents. All I could think was this is our last shopping trip for a bit. As I stood back and watched my son and his dad share special moments together just shopping, it came over me. This is it, Momma, you did it. You got him here now he is going to conquer his goals and make you proud.


Image: Natasha hugs her son goodbye

Ok, the hardest part of this whole journey to college had arrived. The day we left our son and went home without him. We took him to breakfast and then did some last-minute stuff before lunch and the moment I had been dreading–the goodbye. I couldn’t believe the moment was here.

As I sit here writing this it still brings tears to me. So, when it was time to go, our son walked us to our car, and as I stood there watching him hug his dad all I saw was my husband hugging his little boy. I see the pride he has. Oh no, he was walking towards me… it was my turn. As I hugged our son one last time for a while I held on tight not wanting to let go. I whispered to him, I’m the proudest mom in the world and always remember I love you. I couldn’t let go, I just couldn’t. As I got in the car, he stood there waving goodbye to us and all I saw was my 5-year-old boy when he waved goodbye as he entered kindergarten and now there he stood at 18 as he is entering college life. I cried and when I say I cried, it was an ugly cry. It was the longest ride home as we both cried.

Being home without him is the hardest.

Seeing his room and knowing he isn’t here–ugh, heart-wrenching. But we text every day and we’ve scheduled one phone call a day at least so I can hear his voice. I do have good days but still have sad days. Not going to lie it’s still hard. But he will be home in 6 weeks for 2 weeks and I look forward to that. So stay strong mommas enjoy every moment now. All the crying, laughing, temper tantrums, talkbacks, the laughs, the quality time, everything. Soak it all in. Cause when they leave the nest and go off to college, you will remember it all and realize all the sacrifices were worth it. 

Image: Natasha and her college-aged son

And now a new chapter in our life… I am a proud UCF MOM!

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Natasha Arias
Natasha was born and raised in Miami, FL. She is a proud UPS wife to a very hardworking husband. She is a proud mom of 3 magnificent kids: Nicole (23), Kaytlin (20), and Steven (17). She loves spending time with her family and going on vacation… who doesn’t?! She owns a small business called Limitless Tee Co. It started off as a hobby but took off into what it is today. She’s also on Etsy. She has had the business since 2019. A fun fact about her is she’s a huge I Love Lucy fan and collector, as well as a funko pop collector. She loves curling up on the couch with her husband and playing video games till late hours. She’s also a devoted fan of the New England Patriots and looks forward to football season. Life threw her a curveball when she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2012, so she believes in living life to the fullest. She’s a firm believer that “Your illness does not define you. Your strength and courage does,” and that’s something she has instilled in her kids. Follow her on IG @limitlesscouple305.