The New York Times reports on colleges’ development of rituals to essentially throw parents off campus after move-in:
As the latest wave of superinvolved parents delivers its children to college, institutions are building into the day, normally one of high emotion, activities meant to punctuate and speed the separation. It is part of an increasingly complex process, in the age of Skype and twice-daily texts home, in which colleges are urging “Velcro parents” to back off so students can develop independence….
Formal “hit the road” departure ceremonies are unusual but growing in popularity, said Joyce Holl, head of the National Orientation Directors Association. A more common approach is for colleges to introduce blunt language into drop-off schedules specifying the hour for last hugs.
This is not a problem I ever had. My freshman year at Penn, I took the night train from Richmond, leaving home at 4 a.m. and arriving in Philadelphia later that morning. It was great: few things could better mark the end of one phase of your life and the start of another. I don’t think my parents ever stepped foot on the campus until graduation four years later. And given how casual the kids are when we take them to camp, I suspect they’re going to want the same treatment.