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Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years, Fourth Edition Paperback – April 15, 2003


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Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years, Fourth Edition + You're On Your Own (But I'm Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years + I'll Miss You Too: An Off-to-College Guide for Parents and Students
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; 4 edition (April 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060521260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060521264
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #847,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen Levin Coburn is the Senior Consultant in Residence and former Assistant Vice Chancellor for Students at Washington University in St. Louis.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By The Fink on April 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book. I particularly liked the chapter on Departure.

A small passage really hit home with me,"Based on numerous interviews with college students, there seems to be little to no correlation between roommates' initial contacts and their ultimate compatibility. Too often, brief notes or abbreviated phone calls encourage fantasies of becoming best friends and soul mates -- only to discover later that a liking for yellow quilts and James Dean doesn't gaurantee friendship or similar lifestyles."

After watching my daughter go through a similar situation, I can totally understand. I recommend any first time college bound parent read this. Then give your son/daugher a copy of College 101: The Book Your College Does Not Want You To Read.

Letting Go - will give you peace of mind.

College 101: The Book Your College Does Not Want You To Read - will give your son/daughter peace of mind.

As the father of one daughter in college, and another on the way this September, this book was a Godsend!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By deb on September 10, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was so trepidacious about sending my child off to college. And I work at a college! This book is great for parents that have not lived on a college campus-it explains in detail how students find things like health care and academic support, how dorm rooms are set up, and a bunch of details about what living on campus is all about and how to find support services. I did not think it was helpful in regards to dealing with the crazy stuff in my own head about how to send my child off to college with a smile on my face. Drop off day was tough-and there was not enough in the book to help me with that. From my own experience I knew how to get my kid to find an ID and her dorm, the two things she needed the most. For parents that have not lived on a college campus, you may find this helpful. For me, I am still trying to deal with the empty nest and how to be supportive from far away. If anyone can recommend a book for a single parent of a single child, I would love to check it out. The good news is my baby has been away for only 3 weeks, and we're both doing just fine (her more than me, but that's a good thing!) Getting used to the idea of this first step towards independence is hard-harder than anything else I have ever done as a parent. And I wish I knew how to prepare others for this-but it's like childbirth. No amount of reading can ever prepare you for this.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By freshman mom on November 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the best book! I use it as a resource, looking up the particular things I have questions about as I need them. When my son was leaving for school 1000 miles away, I read the section on "the Good-Bye" and it was so incredibly helpful! As a mom, I pictured things would go a certain way, and through reading, I realized that what I was picturing and what was actually going to happen was probably going to be radically different! And, the book was right --and I was prepared! I was so grateful for that --it saved me from feeling let down and empty when we drove away! It's such a realistic book, and it addresses the parents' feelings, while also giving us an insight into our student's feelings and why we all act and react as we do --it's right on the money! I've shared my book with friends who have seniors in High School this year, and so far, everyone has felt relieved to see that their (and their children's) feelings and actions are the same as others in the same boat. It has made our transition SO much easier, and so far, it's been a great freshman year for our son. He even said we were being cool about stuff and he appreciated that. (Wow!) So, I'd wholeheartedly recommend the book --it's like having a best friend advise you from their past experience.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David E. Levine on March 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Sending a child to college is an emotional experience. This book keys in to our concerns as parents, therefore, reading this book is a heartfelt experience. Each young man and woman is different and the book acknowledges this, thus avoiding broad generalizations. There are two parties who have to cope with the major change, the young adult heading off to college and, the parents. Certainly, there are many pitfalls for the student. He or she may be away from home for the first time. Some get very homesick while others thrive on their new found freedom. Some break into the academic routine whereas others feel overwhelmed and frightend. There are temptations for experimentation such as new sexual experiences, alcohol and illict drugs. In addition to the stress of academics, there are stresses in forming new relationships, both social and romantic. What this book brings out very well is that strating college is where a young person often seeks an identity and image. For example, someone who, perhaps, had the reputation of being a "nerd" in high school has a new group of contemporaries with whom to start with a fresh slate and perhaps come across as "cool." Thus, young people are often discovering themselves and their identities.

As parents, we have to help guide our children through their new experiences. This basically means, for the most part, leaving them alone and allowing them to make their own decisions. However, always be there when needed. The book gives the example of students who go off to college and parents rarely hear from them. The conversations they do have are often superficial. Then all of a sudden, the student calls and has a very close and intimate conversation. This is normal.
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