Off to college



We are dropping Jessica off at college tomorrow.  First kid to leave the nest. No doubt
the other 2 will be gone before we know it.  Of course the first question everyone asks when they hear
Jessica is going to college this year is “how do you feel about that”?  So, how do I feel about that?



In all honesty, I am elated for her.  We spent the last 18 years preparing
her to fly independently.  She is
her own person.  Of course, all parents
see the things in their kid that they feel they helped mold but she has taken
what she wanted from us and made them her own.  We can give advice if she asks us for it but she is now an
adult and she chooses how to spend her money, how she lives her life, the
friends that she makes and the path she wants to pursue.  We have done our job and we are



Certainly living in a household that loves music, loves
food, loves travel, loves pop culture and fashion, loves technology and loves
everything that urban living has to offer Jessica has embraced.  But her loves are about her they aren’t
about us.  Not easy to understand
that as a parent but that is something Jessica taught me.  She started breaking away and through
that process, although not always easy, I learned from her that she is her own
person.  A fantastic person at



 I am not one to look backward, never have.  Quite frankly neither is Fred.  I could go back and recount a variety
of memories but I am not sure that being nostalgic is the right thing at this
moment and I am not a very nostalgic person.  I just can’t believe that in 5 years we will have an empty
nest.  Everyone is already taller
than me, I do realize my age but having 3 adult kids navigating their own lives
is going to be strange yet exciting at the same time.  In many ways, Jessica leaving will the most difficult for Josh and Emily. 



Jessica is the first one to fly and she is just beginning
her journey.  I am sure I will cry,
as everyone in my family knows that I cry at everything, but honestly, I am
absolutely thrilled for her.  She
worked hard to get where she is and now she is going to enjoy the fruits of her
labor.  Bravo!

Comments (Archived):

  1. Shripriya

    Wonderful post and pictures. Congratulations to you and Fred. And of course, to Jessica. College is an awesome time!

    1. Gotham Gal

      It is a totally awesome time. Seems like yesterday when I was going off to college….ahhh.joanne [email protected]

  2. Carol Gellos

    great post…jessica is the man!!!!! I love that girl…

  3. Steven Kane

    Very nice bit of writing, Joanne.But for me, I think looking backwards is OK. We only get one life, and god or nature gave us the ability to transcend time with our minds — an ability it seems no other life form has in quite the same deep and complex way as we do — so why not use the muscle to immerse oneself in the total dynamic continuum of our single life’s experience? Preferable to simply only looking ahead, as if with blinders on?

    1. Gotham Gal

      Good point. It isn’t that I don’t look back and smile, I am just not nostalgic. I embrace the past yet I love the moment.joanne [email protected]

  4. Yule Heibel

    Congrats to you and Jessica, Joanne!By sheer coincidence, I’m leaving for Vancouver tomorrow morning to get my daughter (#2 child) settled at the University of British Columbia – move-in day at the dorm is on Saturday. #1 child is already at university, albeit locally (U. of Victoria), so he’s not living in residence.So this is not really a first for us, and yet it really is a first for us. I feel happy for her – and for #1, too – but they’re both very young, and it’ll be a real adjustment to have them actually moving out of my life bit by bit like this. A good adjustment though, I think. And I definitely feel like it’s time to plot out the next chapter of my life, whatever that may be.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Plotting out the next chapter of your life…that sounds fantastic.

  5. jsepoch

    nice post, jo. it’s that time. jessica is more than ready and has all the attributes to succeed. i can’t wait to see her continue to grow outside the nest. one point though, it’s true that all the kids are now taller than you but it wasn’t a particularly high bar to pass.thanks again for the visit out east. it was awesome!

  6. lazerow

    What a nice post. My favorite line: “She started breaking away and through that process, although not always easy, I learned from her that she is her own person.” Is it a problem that my 7 year old has already started breaking away???? Great post. Keep em coming! More proof re: why this is the best Wilson-family blog.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I am a huge believe in a very long rope. It was when she hit 16/17 that Irealized that I actually need to untie the rope. Not easy.

    2. fredwilson

      “the best Wilson-family blog”???what are you kidding?have you checked out Emily’s?

  7. gsilberman

    from your empty nester friends… ..we dropped Allie off last week …she has already started classes and Matt is in FLorence doing a semester abroad ( i want to come back as one of my kids) …they both sound great and I think they are definitely where they are suppose to be…they are all ready for this next step in their lives..Jessica is definitely her own person …and she should enjoy every minute of her college experience..Good Luck Jessica …..

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thanks Gail. When are you going to Florence??

  8. CCjudy

    very moving judy