Students, Welcome to College – Parents, Go Home

Grinnell College here, like
others, has found it necessary to be explicit about when parents really,
truly must say goodbye. Move-in day for the 415 freshmen was Saturday.
After computer printers and duffle bags had been carried to dorm rooms,
everyone gathered in the gymnasium, students on one side of the
bleachers, parents on the other.

The president welcoming the class of 2014 had his back to the parents — a
symbolic staging meant to inspire “an aha! moment,” said Houston
Dougharty, vice president of student affairs, “an epiphany where parents
realize, ‘My student is feeling more comfortable sitting with 400
people they just met.’ ”

Shortly after, mothers and fathers were urged to leave campus.–NYTimes

I remember being very crabby when my parents dropped me off at college. My dad wanted to stop to eat just a mile or so from campus. I was grouchy and impatient, and eventually paced the sidewalk waiting for them to finish. Then, after I got moved in and felt ready to relax, I was ready for a final meal with my parents, but they waved and left — just like that.

Freshman arriving on campus in 2010 bring with them a huge online social network, so they don’t have to say good-bye the way we did in the days of analog relationships.