News Reese Witherspoon Cried in Daughter Ava's Bed When She Went Away to College "It's weird when your children go away to college — it's hard." By Isabel Jones Isabel Jones Instagram Twitter Isabel is an Oregon-born and Brooklyn-based writer and editor with a special interest in pop culture. InStyle's editorial guidelines Updated on May 20, 2019 @ 11:30AM Pin Share Tweet Email Reese Witherspoon may be the closest thing to superwoman this planet has, but that doesn’t mean she’s immune to one of the universal struggles of motherhood: sending your kid off into the world. The actress and businesswoman has two boys still in the nest — 15-year-old Deacon with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe, and 6-year-old Tennessee with her talent agent husband Jim Toth — but her eldest, 19-year-old Ava Phillippe, flew the coop for her first year of college this past fall. Michael Tran/Getty Images “It's weird when your children go away to college — it’s hard,” the 43-year-old revealed during an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I never imagined how it felt for my mom,” she continued, “I might have gone into her empty room, laid down on her bed and cried right when she went to college.” But Reese takes solace in one thing: “But it’s OK, she’s coming back. They come back.” I mean, until those summer internships take hold, at least … Two years ago Ryan revealed that his and Reese’s daughter was looking into University of Washington, UC Berkeley, and a school in San Diego, and judging by the locales of some of Ava’s recent Instagrams, it seems that Berkeley made the final cut and the “California girl” stayed relatively close to home. Reese Witherspoon's 5-Year-Old Wishes She Could Be Like Other Moms Witherspoon, for her part, never finished college. She went to Stanford for one year and then immersed herself in Hollywood. “My mom was so mad at me that I dropped out of college,” she told Ellen. “She wanted me to be a doctor — specifically a plastic surgeon.” This tidbit confused DeGeneres — “Why?” she asked. Witherspoon was just as stumped. “My mom was just really determined for me to be a plastic surgeon. And she was mad about it for probably about 10 years and then I bought her a house and she got over it. At a certain point it turned into a better deal for Betty.” For us, too. Imagine a world without Reese’s Tracy Flick, or (God forbid) Elle Woods. We’d take Elle and Bruiser over a chin implant any day.