As We Send Them Off – – and Let Them Go: 25 Quotes to Guide You

It’s an interesting moment in time.  As we send our students off to college, we’re filled with pride at their accomplishments, excited for the future that awaits them, nervous (maybe even downright scared) about their success, celebrating our freedom from the daily caretaking responsibilities, and feeling the emptiness of the hole they are leaving in our daily lives.

In the swirl of student emotions and the sometimes chaotic preparations to move away, we sometimes forget to honor our own feelings – and to embrace the new adventure that awaits us as well as our student.

Take a moment (or two).  Breathe.  Honor your feelings, but don’t dwell on them.  Find for yourself a perspective that allows you to savor this time – and to move into the next moment.

Here are some quotes that may help.  Not all of them will resonate with you, but find some that do.  Keep them.  Come back to them. Find your own new path.

Congratulations on your new role!  It’s an exciting adventure.

  • We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

                             Walt Disney


  • Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.

                            Daphne Rose Kingma


  • Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather learning to start over.

                            Nicole Sobo

  • Life moves on and so should we.

                           Spencer Johnson

  • Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.

                           Raymond Lindquist

  • Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.

                            Deborah Reber

  • Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.

                           Ann Landers

  • Never love something so much that you can’t let go of it.
                     Ginni Rometty
  • You don’t need strength to let go of something. What you really need is understanding.

                          Guy Finley

  • Just remember, when you should grab something, grab it; when you should let go, let go.


  • Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.

                         The Dalai Lama

  • It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.

                         Ann Landers

  • You see much more of your children after they leave home.

                         Lucille Ball

  • A wise parent humors the desire for independent action, so as to become the friend and advisor when his absolute rule shall cease.

                         Elizabeth Gaskell

  • Your child’s life will be filled with fresh experiences. It’s good if yours is as well.

                         Dr. Margaret Rutherford

  • However painful the process of leaving home, for parents and for children, the really frightening thing for both would be the prospect of the child never leaving home.

                        Robert Neely Bellah

  • Where we love is home, Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.

                       Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr

  • When you have a solid upbringing and a strong sense of place, that sustains you. My sense of home never leaves me.

                        Lyle Lovett

  • There isn’t a child who hasn’t gone out into the brave new world who eventually doesn’t return to the old homestead carrying a bundle of dirty clothes.

                       Art Buchwald

  • Letting go does not mean not caring about things. It means caring about them in a flexible and wise way.

                      Jack Kornfield

  • Sometimes love means letting go when you want to hold on tighter.

                     Melissa Marr

  • Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us.

                    The Language of Letting Go

  • The greatest gift you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.

                    Nishan Panwar

  • You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.

                    C.S. Lewis

  • Whatever they grow up to be, they are still our children, and the one most important of all things we can give to them is unconditional love. Not a love that depends on anything at all except that they are our children.

                    Rosaleen Dickson

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There’s an Upside to Sending Your Student to College

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Parents: Write a Commencement Speech

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