Off To College Already? How’s That Possible?

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Five airports, three hotels, thousands of miles, two-car rentals, five college tours later, we got back home at 1 am on Saturday.

I was tired and sleepwalked through the day.

Neal and I went to New Haven to return the rental car and took the opportunity to go and sit at our favorite Mexican restaurant. There were margueritas involved. We needed this downtime but, of course, we still got to talking about . . . well, the girls and colleges.

The thing about having twins is that there’s no dress rehearsal.

For those of you who have heard me say this before, I apologize for being repetitive. You see, they do everything together . . . or, almost together. This togetherness can be a blessing and a curse.

For us parents, it’s been sink or swim. We’re raising two first-born children . . . in every possible way:-)

As for the girls, they can’t wait to get away from our little town and each other, and experience the world alone! I understand. After all, who am I to talk to? I crossed an ocean to find myself.

Back to the college visits. They were an education. So far, we’ve visited big state schools, small liberal arts schools, and some in between. Everyone’s comfort level has been tested, and we’ve learned a thing or two about each other and ourselves.

Elinor surprised herself by feeling attracted to a larger school than she thought she’d be comfortable in.

Anastasia, on the other hand, went against her grain and fell in love with a more intimate, liberal arts school.

They both experienced the distance from home and tested their boundaries. Along the way, we talked, argued, laughed, ate some great food, had the chance to spend time with friends, walked until we dropped, and experienced three seasons within a week’s time.

As for me, I definitely came up against my comfort level which, to be honest, surprised me. I thought this was going to be about the girls, but, surprise! It turns out I too have a thing or two to process.

Some of the questions I had to consider:

  • How attached am I to my comfort level? Comfort levels can become pretty limiting if left unchecked.
  • How do I remain open to new ideas and situations while staying true to myself?
  • How do I know when to step in and when to butt out? This is about the girls after all.

As the days went on, I had to keep reminding myself of what I try to teach my daughters.

  • All I can do is do my best – based on my experience and what’s in front of me.
  • Stay in the moment and don’t project too far ahead.
  • Believe that life will work things out in much better ways than my mind tells me.
  • Fear isn’t always true or facts-based.
  • Trust the process.
  • I have to stop taking myself too seriously.
  • Accept I’m biased when it comes to the people I love.
  • As a parent, I still have a lot to learn. Actually, there are times that I miss the point . . . entirely.
  • Letting go is a daily practice.
  • Get ready to be surprised.
  • Count my blessings for all the goodness in my life.

I’m pretty sure this won’t be the last time you’ll hear from me about this process. Until next time, be well, and don’t forget to use your sense of humor. Oh, that’s another thing I learned during this trip.

As a life coach and retreat leader, Yota works with women seeking clarity, inspiration, and purpose in the midst of life changes. Her approach is intuitive and deeply influenced by her cultural roots, work and life experience, and her long-term practice of mindfulness meditation.


  • Seana Turner

    I’m at a similar stage, Yota. I think I learn more each day at this age than I did when I was in school!! Trying to keep my opinion out of the college process.. not easy!

    • Yota Schneider

      Thank you for sharing, Seana. It’s always comforting to know I’m not alone:-) Before embarking on college visits, people would say “Oh, this is going to be so much fun!” Well, yes, there have been moments of fun, but it’s also emotionally exhausting. Do you think “control freak” is one of the requirements for being a mom? :-)))

  • Nona

    Trying not to control. . . to let go and remember it’s their life …to be there when they ask or when they need you . I know it’s not that easy to do!

    • Yota Schneider

      No, it’s not that easy. It’s constant learning, daily practice, and often, an exercise in futility:-) But, it will be done because that’s the only way. Thank you Eleni. xoxo

  • Linda Samuels

    What a wonderful post, Yota! I love the reflective turn it took and how you allowed yourself to take the journey to uncharted territory along with your daughters. So much of what you said resonated with me. Some favorites are:

    Testing comfort levels, questioning their value, testing “butting in” boundaries, being mindful of the moment, trusting the process, letting go as a daily practice, and activating your sense of humor.

    All wonderful. All Yota. Grateful for you.

    • Yota Schneider

      Thank you for stopping by Linda. Always good to hear your “voice.” I know you’ve been there, as you so eloquently shared in your blog when your daughters left for college.

      As for my comfort level, I need to remember what my daughter pointed out: It’s not I who is going to school so if I’m not comfortable in a campus of 50,000 students, that’s too bad:-)

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