When J left for his first year of college last year I hadn’t planned on seeing him until Thanksgiving of that year. Except he got a bit homesick and came for a quick visit in September, and then again to celebrate A’s 1st birthday in October. Each time we flew him home, even if it was for just for quick weekend visit. Not exactly what we thought when trying to figure out how to bring the comforts of home to college for him. After Thanksgiving I wasn’t sure when we would see him again, especially since we were planning to send him to visit friends and experience life in Argentina over winter break. His flight required a layover in Miami, outbound and inbound, so we made the most of it by choosing flights far apart in time. He then came home to visit again in March, and I believe once more after that.
During J’s first year of college he was required to be in a triple/quad style dorm room setting, it’s where they put all the freshman. It seemed to me to be a bit too close for comfort to seven boys sharing two rooms and only one bathroom. He likely didn’t have too many guests come over for that reason. This year J is living the “Suite Life” at college in a suite style dorm room. There are four bedrooms of single or doubles and a main suite style living room for the boys to share and have guests. J loves to host friends, he got it from his Mama. I promised him that if he did well on midterms I’d reward him and his buddies by hosting a game watching party, similar to the ones I used to host for his buddies at our home.
How To Bring the Comforts of Home To College
A long-standing tradition in our home was always having J and his friends over for a game. Depending on the season, it could be basketball, football or soccer, but the boys always gathered here for a game and comfort food. I’ve always loved having the boys over and I always enjoy doing what I do best, feeding people – “come, sit, eat, you are all skin and bones.” No was never an acceptable answer. With the boys now away at college it was time for some new traditions that would keep J connected to home.
Through my partnership with Hickory Farms, whose tag line happens to be – Inspiring Traditions since 1951, I was inspired to create a new tradition for J. One that would hopefully bring his new family together to watch games, perhaps even study, just as we had always done in the past. If you’ve ever been around a college kid then you know that they are a bottomless pit for food, usually not the kind you want them eating.
While I understand that letting him go allows him to grow, I know having reminders of home is important too. Sending him a basket of goodies from Hickory Farms that remind him of home brings comfort to both of us in knowing we are only one delivered with love package away. Helping him host a game night with his buddies was an honor for me. It allowed him to spend some time getting to know his new suite-mates and ease his tension to help him study better. I always worry about whether I have done a good enough job as a parent while raising J. I wanted him to know I was thinking of him, and miss all the times his friends would gather at our home to play video games or watch a game on TV. I miss him.
And he really is growing. He’s navigating New York City on his own…well, not alone, sometimes he brings his school Mascot along.
He visited D.C. and took part in a once in a lifetime experience through one of his legal studies classes.
But the best part of all is the friendships he’s making and the new traditions he’s creating.
College is all about exploration and growth. And while we want to keep them little forever, we need to let them spread their wings – while gently reminding them we will always be there for them.
Disclosure: Today’s story was sponsored by Hickory Farms; I am a paid Hickory Farms Ambassador. “How To Bring the Comforts of Home To College” was written entirely by me with no outside influence from the brand sponsoring today’s story. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.