On Wednesday, Ripa, 48, appeared on her Live with Kelly and Ryan co-host’s radio show On Air With Ryan Seacrest, where she got talking about her daughter’s first year at New York University and helping her move into her dorm recently.
With the drop-off and emotional goodbyes behind them, the mother of three admitted that she’s worried about one other thing that may soon come Lola’s way: being homesick.
Despite living in close proximity to NYU with her husband Mark Consuelos and their youngest son Joaquin, Ripa said she has no plans of letting her daughter, 18, make frequent trips home — but for a very good reason.
“College is where you start establishing yourself as an independent person and I think when you send your kid away to college — if your kid stays local — you get all of the hassle of sending your kid away to college but none of the sympathy or empathy from your friends,” Ripa explained.
“Your friends go, ‘At least she’s nearby’ and I go, ‘Yeah, but that’s not good’ because if she feels homesick, I have to say to her, ‘No, you can’t come home, you’re gonna have to work it out … whatever you’re going through, figure it out.'”
Ripa went on to note that she had the same discussion with her eldest son Michael, 22, who also happens to attend NYU.
“I treat it all the same,” she told Seacrest. “I did the same thing with my son. It’s like, ‘You’re gonna have to figure out how to be an adult, this is when you figure it out.'”
“Because the thing is you got into more than one school and when we sat down and discussed which school you should go to, this was my main concern,” Ripa explained. “My main concern was I don’t know if you should be this close to home because I don’t want you using home like it’s your home. I want you to use it as an experience!”
To prevent this from happening, Ripa said hoped her children would attend schools much farther away — but unfortunately for the mother of three, she didn’t get her wish.
“I tried to get my daughter to go to school in San Diego,” she admitted. “I was so desperate to get any of my kids to go to school on the West Coast because I just wanna visit the West Coast! I wanna have Thanksgiving on the West Coast.”
“Who wants to go to school in a climate that is so terrible?” Ripa joked.
Aside from being homesick, Ripa revealed the one thing she definitely anticipates Lola struggling with during her first semester.
“Sharing a bathroom with five roommates, it’s gonna be the main challenge,” she said with a laugh. “New York City kids are used to not having a lot of space so that, she’s already okay with … but the bathroom, that’s gonna be a thing.”
Living with multiple roommates will also be a learning experience for the first-year college student, Ripa said.
“They’re all new people in her life,” she explained of the four other girls. “They don’t even fill out a profile so it’s truly like a surprise … they’re four strangers.”
Ripa hasn’t been shy to document and discuss Lola’s college transition as of late.
At the end of last month, Ripa and Consuelos, 48, helped their daughter moved into her dorm and commemorated the moment with a sweet photo on Instagram.
“The nest is getting roomy…💕,” Ripa captioned a heartwarming photo of herself giving her second-born a hug and kiss during the drop-off, while Consuelos shared the same photo of his two ladies, writing, “2 down… 1 to go…❤️❤️❤️❤️.”
Then, on her talk show Tuesday, Ripa opened up about leaving her daughter at NYU for the first time and how she was particularly taken aback at how much the goodbyes affected Lola and Joaquin, who are only 20 months apart.
“We moved Lola into her dorm and it’s one of those things that you don’t realize how close [the kids are],” Ripa admitted on the show. “The younger two are really close in age. Like, I didn’t even know I was pregnant with the third one because I was still nursing the second one!”
“I just assumed that, you know, I was just gaining weight from nursing. I was that one person who was gaining weight from nursing,” Ripa continued. “So they really are very, very close and I didn’t realize how close they were until it was time to say goodbye.”
As for whether or not Lola’s proud parents shed any tears at the final goodbye?
“There weren’t real tears but there were lots of ‘Don’t think I’m gonna be home before Thanksgiving because I’m not. I’m not gonna be home before Thanksgiving. You won’t see me before Thanksgiving,'” Ripa said, mimicking Lola.
“To that, I said, ‘I’ll see you in four hours when you come home because you don’t know how to use the washing machine!'” the actress quipped.
Though Ripa and Consuelos may not have cried at the drop-off, they were certainly getting misty-eyes a few days prior.
In an Instagram post on Aug. 22, Ripa shared a snap featuring her younger self and her husband cradling their then-newborn daughter at her christening in 2001 — both parents looking down lovingly at their baby girl.
She included the fitting Throwback Thursday hashtag, writing, “#tbt 2001 from your Christening to college. In the blink of an eye. I’m not crying. You’re crying 😢 (actually Daddy’s sobbing) 😭.”
The Riverdale star confirmed Ripa’s caption by commenting a crying face emoji on the post, accompanied by hearts.