Warning: Dropping Your Kid Off At College May Have Adverse Effects On Your Health

Kristen Marks

by Kristen Marks

Kristen Marks is a travel enthusiast, empty-nest mom to two young adult children, athlete, attorney, author, speaker, proud wife of almost three decades (to the same wonderful man!), and the founder of My Pink Lawyer®, Florida Estate & Legacy Planning attorneys. Kristen has been crafting professional estate plans for Floridians and their families for over 28 years.

Connect with me

“Gosh, I’m really dragging today,” I thought to myself at the gym last Thursday. I felt like there was a weight on my chest and my breathing was shallow as I throttled down the speed on my treadmill.


Did I not get enough sleep last night? 


I couldn’t shake the feeling all day at the office and was exhausted by the time I went home.


I fell asleep at 7pm that night thinking a good night’s rest would kick whatever was going on.


I felt fine; just exhausted and “heavy.”


Friday morning I awoke and initially thought I felt better but the feeling was short-lived. 


Again, that weight quickly settled in my chest. 


Andrew and I moved our son into his dorm at the University of South Carolina the prior weekend and unlike the return trip home from dropping our daughter off to college a couple of years earlier, I felt absolutely fine emotionally with leaving my son eight hours away.


Or so I thought.




Drew called us Friday night (five days after dropping him off!) and gave us the Cliff Notes version of his first couple days of classes. It was so good to hear his voice, albeit for only a few minutes (ah, boys!).


I had joked before Drew left that when we dropped him off at college, we wouldn’t hear from him again until he showed up one day before Thanksgiving, dirty laundry in hand, and we would wonder how he managed to get home.


I’m apparently not going to be far off the mark.


Saturday morning following our brief phone call, I went to the gym again and felt fantastic! The weight on my chest had lifted and I felt many pounds lighter.


I may be a little slow on the uptake but could it be that rationally I felt fine with being an empty nester but I had instead internalized my touch of sadness? I think so.


Change can be difficult for most of us, even when the change is positive.


After all, Andrew and I get to eat whatever we want, whenever we want, go out whenever we want, travel whenever we want, etc., with no one except our cats at home to expect anything from us anymore.


I’m realizing that transitioning to being empty nesters is a major life event that will take some getting used to.


Major life events should be reminder to us to take inventory of our lives and make adjustments or even major changes as warranted or desired.


I also suggest to clients that major life events should lead to an evaluation of their existing estate plans to seeif any updates are needed.


We regularly meet with past clients, and even new clients, to review existing estate plans and make suggestions to bring them current.


I’m not naïve enough now to think that I’m out of the woods and will be totally fine with both of my kids being out of the house.


But the initial shock has worn off and Andrew and I are slowly discovering what the next phase of our lives will look like with it being just the two of us again.


We actually celebrated our twenty-four year anniversary yesterday. And I think I can safely say for both of us that we still dig each other.


Kristen “Empty Nest Mama Bird” Marks


P.S. Our office is co-hosting the private advanced FREE showing of “Maiden,” the inspiring movie about the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race, a grueling yachting competition that covers 33,000 miles and last nine months. The showing will be next Thursday, September 5that 6pmat the AMC Bayou 15 in Pensacola. Click here to snag your FREE TICKET now. Or call our office. Space is limited.


Contact Us Now