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When the 3,800 members of the Class of 2017 arrived on campus, nearly all were accompanied by at least one parent. After unloading the car and setting up the dorm room, they faced the moment that everybody dreads: saying good-bye.

“Who can forget that moment when you say good-bye to family or friends who helped you move into your very first college residence?” asks David Zamojski, director of Residence Life and an assistant dean of students. “The moment is such a jumble of emotions. Excitement. Anxiety. Anticipation. Some sadness.”

Margaret Ross, director of Behavioral Medicine at Student Health Services, says that this can be a very emotional time for both parents and students. “When students leave home for school, it’s often the beginning of a life transition, when they’re not going to be identifying home in the same way in the future,” she says. “That’s a big deal for parents who’ve spent so much of their lives thinking about their children, planning for them, protecting them, and taking care of them.”

For homesick students, and for parents who find that quiet house hard to get used to, take heart: Parents Weekend (October 18-20) is right around the corner.