Health & Wellness
My First Email To My College Freshman
My First Email To My College Freshman

If you’re on Facebook these days, it’s easy to see what time of year it is: back to school. And while many parents are properly outfitting their preschoolers or taking cute photos of the first day of a certain grade, other parents are having their babies leave the nest. Mixed in with all these young kids are plenty of moms and dads sending their kids off to college.

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Carla Collins, the first author in our series called Parenting Perspectives, shares with us the first email she sent to her son as a freshman in college.

Hi Colt,

Hope you are settling in to your new life. It seems like you are adjusting well and having fun. I know when school starts Monday things will be a little more serious, but I’m confident you will have no problem finding a balance between your social and academic worlds! You know what it takes, got lots of practice focusing on school during the last year and a half, and have a huge support system up at CSU to help you when you need it.

I want to share with you a symbolic event I just experienced. I went out to the garage and found a hummingbird hovering against the window above the ball rack. He couldn’t get out the window because it was shut, but didn’t have the courage to fly AWAY from the window and out the wide-open garage door.

I wanted to help him and opened the window below where he was hovering, hoping he would drop down and fly out. Instead, he dropped BETWEEN the fixed pane of glass and the open pane, getting stuck in the few inches of overlapping glass! I tried and tried to coax him back up to free him, but he was stunned.

As my anxiety grew, I feared he would be trapped there and die. Finally, all by himself, he flapped enough in the tight space to raise himself back up to the open area, yet was still stuck in the garage. I took a tennis racket to “lead” him away from the closed window and out. He suddenly landed on the racket mesh, clinging to that racket, frozen. I walked slowly toward the open garage door and out into the driveway. Within a split-second he flapped those wings and flew off into the beautiful, deep blue sky higher and higher and was out of sight in two seconds.

I laid down in the driveway and cried, part out of relief, and part out of joy….NOT out of sadness for losing that beautiful little hummingbird. I know I will see that little bird again, as I have bright pink flowers in the garden that he loves to visit.

Enjoy your deep blue sky, Colt, but know I am always here if you need something to cling to, even briefly. It will be mere “seconds” in the scheme of things and you will be off into your own life again.

I love you honey,


Have you recently send your son or daughter off to school? We’d love for you to share your experience with us in the comments!

Carla Collins has been with Johnson & Johnson for 12 years and currently works as a Senior Exec IS-G in Colorado. She’s been married to her husband Glenn for 25 years and is the mom to two sons: Sean (Senior at University of Colorado), and Colt (now Sophomore at Colorado State University). When she’s not working, she fills her time by camping with family and friends, doing mission work with her church, mountainbiking, and teaching herself the ukulele!

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