Navigating New Waters: 3 Books for Parents Sending Kids to College this Fall 

As the school year winds down and graduation season approaches, a new chapter begins for many families: sending a child off to college. This significant transition isn’t just a milestone for students; it’s a profound shift for parents as well. It’s a time filled with excitement, worry, and the inevitable sense of letting go. To help navigate these emotional waters, we’ve compiled a list of three essential reads for parents gearing up for this change. These books offer guidance, reassurance, and practical advice to make this transition smoother for both you and your soon-to-be college student.

“Out to Sea: A Parents’ Survival Guide to the Freshman Voyage” by Kelly Radi

In this compassionate guide, Kelly Radi offers a lifeline to parents as they face the uncertainties of sending their child to college. “Out to Sea” serves as a comprehensive manual, covering emotional readiness, logistical preparations, and the adjustments families will encounter. Radi’s approach is both practical and empathetic, making it a must-read for parents seeking to support their child’s journey while navigating their own sea of emotions.

“They’re Ready. Are You?: A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the College Transition”


This insightful book addresses the pivotal changes parents face as their children step into college life. It focuses on the emotional and practical aspects of the transition, offering strategies to cope with the “empty nest” feeling and advice on how to empower your child to become independent. With its blend of personal anecdotes and actionable tips, this guide is an invaluable resource for parents looking to find their footing during this new phase of life.

“Time To Grow: Helping You Navigate Life As Your Child Is Away At College For The First Year” by Dr. Jessica R. Pelfrey 


Embarking on the journey of sending your child off to college can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. Dr. Jessica R. Pelfrey, drawing from her extensive 20-year experience in counseling and education, offers a comprehensive guide to help parents navigate this pivotal transition with confidence and grace.

In Time to Grow, Dr. Pelfrey presents a unique blend of practical advice, emotional support, and interactive tools tailored specifically for parents whose children are venturing into the world of higher education for the first time. From managing expectations to fostering open communication and self-care, this book serves as a daily companion, offering invaluable insights and encouragement throughout the academic year.

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Sending your child off to college is a rite of passage filled with mixed emotions. It’s a period of growth, not just for the student, but for the entire family. By arming yourself with knowledge and insights from those who’ve navigated these waters before, you can ease the transition for both you and your child. The books listed above are more than just guides; they’re companions for this journey, offering support, understanding, and practical advice every step of the way. As you prepare to send your child off to college in the fall of 2024, remember, it’s not just about letting go, but also about stepping forward into a new and exciting chapter of your family’s story.


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Emilia Valentine
Emilia Valentine
If I'm not hanging out with my two adorable pups, you'll usually find me cozied up in my reading nook. Haven't blogged in ages, please be patient.