Ahh…It’s almost the end of the school year. For a lot of us going on to college, it means it is almost time to say goodbye to your parents. I don’t know about you, but when my parents are dropping me off at college, there will be no shortage of tears as they drive away.
Everyone has a different relationship with their mom and dad, whether it is a close one, a distant one, or a complicated one. Personally, I’m one of those who has always been very tight with my parents. They have always been there to listen to me when I need someone to talk to, support me when I try something new, and comfort me when thing don’t turn out the way I hoped. I respect them immensely and hope to be like them some day. Why? Because they are my besties – my friends who are always at home.
Of course, every relationship has its ups and downs. Like any parent-child relationship, there are (sometimes many) moments when my parents and I disagree. They do things they think is best for you when you disagree. For instance, they may have very different opinions on where you should go for college. My parents and I definitely disagreed when I first mentioned thinking about liberal arts college. My mom was adamant that I was “not going to art school.” Obviously, liberal arts colleges are not art schools, but even after I explained liberal arts colleges to her, she still wasn’t completely on board with the whole thing and the disagreement continued.
One of the issues about choosing a college is also deciding the role you want your parents to play over the next you years. Do you want to go to a college in a new state, far away from your parents’ influence or do you want to stay closer to home and remain super close? Whatever choice you make, it will be hard being away from your parents for so long. They’ve been there for you your entire life and it’s easy to get used to how much they do for you. Separation can be a frightening thing to go through. Your parents have been the people that will always be there to comfort you, regardless of whether you just had a big fight. They share their wisdom with you, give you pep talks when you need a little encouragement, and try to lead you down the right path. They’re a big part of your life. Whether you choose to leave home or stay close, your parents will always be just a phone call away.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t be afraid about being far away from your parents. Go where you want to go regardless of whether it is far or close to home. Your parents raised you with the tools you need to have a successful and fulfilling life. Leaving home and creating a life for yourself is one of the things your parents prepared you to do, so go out there and make them proud. There are so many opportunities in this world. Think about what is most important to you and chase your dreams.
If your parents aren’t incredible supportive about where you want to go to college, what should you do? They are most likely the ones footing the bill and if you do have a close relationship with your parents, it’s even harder if you worry about upsetting them. Regardless of whether or not you disagree, be respectful of your parents opinions, but don’t give up your dreams just to please them. The good part about being close with your parents is the fact that you guys are probably able to communicate your feelings quite well with each other. Talk it through and explain your reasoning behind your decisions. Present the facts, look into the colleges they ask you to, and if you still stick with your decision, maybe you will be able to change their minds. Like all relationships, disagreements happen, even explosive ones. Don’t let a disagreement ruin your relationship! Try your best to stay openminded, think everything through, and don’t be stubborn. Communicate well and your parents will be much more likely to consider what you’re asking.
Either way, one day you have to depend on yourself instead of your parents. If you do choose to go to a college away from your parents, it may be hard, but there are many other kids who are going through the same thing, myself included. Here’s a cliche for you: what you will experience from now on is an exciting adventure. Look forward to it. The world is yours. Before you say goodbye to your parents and move into a college dorm, spend as much time as you can with your parents during the summer. Eat dinner as a family at home instead of going out. Go do something fun together. Mend your relationship with your parents if you wish you were closer. This is the time to cherish family. Next year, they won’t be nearly as accessible as they are right now. Take advantage of it.
My English teacher says that the period when school ends and summer starts are when parents start to act strange. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense; they come to the very real realization that their kids are leaving home. If you want to know more about how your parents might feel, Rob Lowe (Yes, the awesome actor!), wrote an amazing article about what he was feeling when sent his son off to college. As hard as it is going to be for you, it will be just as hard for your parents. While you may not live at home anymore, your parents are still your parents. They’ll be there for you whether you’re 10 or 1,000 miles away.