How College Brought Me Closer to My Parents

I don’t know about you, but I was a rough teenager to deal with. From mood swings to cultural disagreements to breaking curfews, my parents and I argued a lot as I was growing up. That’s not to say that we had a bad relationship, but I’m just saying that I was quite the bratty teenager.

Right now is the closest I’ve ever been to my parents, and to my mom in particular. They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, but in this case it really is true.

I had a lot of close friends in high school, and I hung out with them on a near-daily basis. I was a very social person, and it was pretty rare for me to spend a day without seeing my friends. That all changed when I came to college, because I was in a brand new environment and having to live my life truly on my own for the first time.

So, who do you think I turned to when I was dealing with this new experience of loneliness? My parents. As a teenager, I never would have thought that I would become one of those people who call their parents regularly as an adult, but I did.

While I was away from my parents, I realized that I had taken for granted all the ways that they took care of me. Now I had to make sure that I eat all my meals, didn’t overwork myself, got all my assignments done, and there was no one to tell me what was right or wrong.

Now, this isn’t me trying to say that college is such a lonely and painful experience, because that’s definitely not the case. Right now I have met and bonded with a lot of new people that have helped me grow as a person and gain new perspectives. I also think it’s important to know how to navigate the world independently, because from here on out I’m going to be moving around a lot and making career choices. And I’m going to continue calling my parents and looking forward to when we can visit each other.

But until I was able to get to that point, it was my parents that had my back and supported me. They were the ones I told in excitement when I first started meeting new friends, when I got hired at a new job, and when I made my first big mistakes. I shared with them the relationships and hardships I was going through, and the things I loved most that I had learned recently. I am so thankful that I had people that were willing to listen to me and be there for me when I was on my own for the first time.

College has forced me to step out of my comfort zone, put myself out there to meet new people, and learn how to be a strong and independent person. It is what helped me transition into finding and managing adult relationships, which is really different from the friend groups we have in high school. It has also helped me to understand and appreciate my parents more.

Call your mom or dad. They’re probably thinking about you.

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