The Off-to-College Guide for Parents and Students | Honest advice for parents and students, for every step of the college journey.
The Off-to-College Guide for Parents and Students | Honest advice for parents and students, for every step of the college journey.


As mentioned on the TCPalm Website

Margo E. Bane Woodacre, Steffany Bane Carey: Buckle up for the off-to-college roller-coaster ride! Tips on how to make the process much better Margo E. Bane Woodacre, who recently spoke in Vero Beach, and her daughter, Steffany Bane Carey, are authors of “I’ll Miss You Too: An Off-to-College Guide for Parents and Students.” Read more…

Mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle – “College Bound Column”

by Joanne Levy-Prewitt.
Click here to read article

A book review of the original edition of I’ll Miss You Too

The Journal of College Admission Reviewed by Leslie Goddard, former assistant director of admission and financial aid at Northwestern University (IL).

I’ll Miss You Too, formerly, Doors Open From Both Sides, is a reassuring, mother-daughter college guide that takes a creative approach to the anxieties of the off-to-college experience, filling a gap that, remarkably, not many have thought to fill before.

Written in a chatty, conversational tone, the book presents two different points of view on the pressures and strains that occur in a parent-child relationship as a student moves from high school through college. Each chapter covers a different “door,” from the “revolving door” of high school senior year to the “screen door” of a student’s first months in college to the “golden door” of graduation.

Co-authors Margo E. Bane Woodacre and Steffany Bane take a neighborly approach, in which first mom and then daughter share their view of the same experience, drawing from their journals, e-mails and personal recollections. Like a movie that shows two differing interpretations of the same event, the book should offer some unexpected insights for both sides. Students, for example, might be surprised to realize that a child’s departure for college can cause parents to reflect deeply on their own futures. Parents should gain insight into why even the most balanced child can react to the thought of college with a bewildering mixture of gleeful excitement and tearful melancholy.

[I’ll Miss You Too] is at its best when dealing with its main theme that certain feelings and experiences are natural, even common, and are best handled with patience and an open mind. Parents and students alike will be relieved to find that emotionally, they are not alone. This is especially comforting when it comes to the unpredictable feelings, such as the possibility that a student might feel lonelier returning to college in winter than when arriving in the fall. Woodacre and Bane helpfully note that many students start to question their choice of major in the junior and senior year and that moving to an off-campus apartment will likely bring as many challenges as opportunities.

In addition to its exploration of the anxieties and joys that college brings, the book also offers practical hints at the end of each chapter and cheerful advice on how to avoid common pitfalls. Some of this is concrete (bring a hammer and screwdriver on move-in day) and some of it borders on the obvious (use e-mail as a low-cost way to stay in touch). The most useful advice concerns how to handle with respect and maturity a relationship that will inevitably be forced to change. The authors consistently return to their main theme of encouraging mutual validation of feelings while keeping communication open and nonjudgmental.

Anyone looking for an encyclopedic self-help guidebook or a comprehensive psychological manual will be disappointed by [I’ll Miss You Too]. The book is short, and although the authors do use anecdotes from other families to illuminate alternative viewpoints, most of the discussion focuses on the pressures that happened to occur in this particular relationship. As a result, some issues that do cause parent-student strain (such as financial aid) are ignored entirely, while others (dealing with college rejections or a student’s decision to transfer to another college) receive only minimal treatment. Families with more serious relationship struggles might find this duo’s familial warmth and relative ease of communication cloying. Despite a mother who is a self-professed worrywart and a daughter who admits to some very late nights, they face few problems that cannot be solved with mutual respect and open-minded communication.

This is, however, quibbling. The point of the book, as the authors openly state, is to share how they dealt with their particular set of challenges, not to document and solve any issue that might arise. And they did face many common parent-student challenges: handling loneliness, maintaining contact, readjusting rules at home, recognizing when students should handle crises on their own, and so on.

Few of the book’s insights into these challenges will surprise anyone who has experienced the college transition-but then, that is the point. Like sitting down for a chat with a neighbor who has been through the process, [I’ll Miss You Too] offers a candid and friendly story of one particular family’s experiences. And the authors’ consistently upbeat message, that they made it through the process and emerged closer than ever, will be reassuring for anyone facing a similar struggle. Their message of openness and mutual respect is one that many anxious parents and students could benefit from hearing.

Reprinted with permission from the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

I’ll Miss You Too

The Off-to-College Guide for Parents and Students
By Margo E. Bane Woodacre and Steffany Bane Carey