College marks independence in every student’s life. No matter what college they go to, or how far away they are, when a student lives away from home, a whole new chapter of their life opens. It is up to the students to feed themselves, get their work done, and figure out how to keep all aspects of their lives organized. This is usually easier said than done, and it turns out, many students rely on their parents still, no matter how far away they may be.
When I was younger, my mom forced me into doing my own laundry and cleaning. At the time, I dreaded it and acted like washing my own dirty clothes was an act of torture. Once I got to school and learned I was one of the few people that actually knew how to work a washing machine, I was more than thankful.
I don’t think I deserve any kind of award for this, but at least I didn’t have to rely on my mom for clean underwear. It gave me some kind of independence, the kind that many students I met didn’t quite have yet.
But don’t let that fool you, while I may have skills in cleaning, I lack in cooking. Sure, I can microwave a meal for myself. I can boil water and cook up some pasta. I can even put things in the oven and wait for the beep indicating my food is done. But that’s about as far as that goes.
My mom has made countless meals and has tried to show me countless times how to put them together. But for some reason, seasoning and preparing and heating just don’t add up in my head. I have no idea when meat is fully cooked through, and whenever I do end up making some sort of dinner, I basically fear for my life that I am eating raw food.
Now, I’ve watched enough Food Network in my time to have picked all these things up. But for some reason, I’m still waiting for everything to click. I still don’t know how to tell if something has gone bad or if something is still edible and I have sent endless amount of picture texts to my mom saying “Does this still look okay?” “Is this still good?” I can’t be the only one. Right…?
The point I’m making here is that as independent as a college students may think they are, many of us still rely on our parents, whether it be financially (which most of us do), emotionally (everyone needs a text from a parent cheering you up once in awhile), or just to check if the food you’re making won’t kill you.
Katlyn Jones, a senior English and education major said, “I think I’ve gotten closer to my parents since leaving for college. I was really sheltered growing up, and college has kind of forced my parents to allow me to become my own person.”
Jones continued, “Over time, my parents adjusted to seeing me as an adult and having the ability to take care of myself, even though I still rely on them for emotional support sometimes. They’re definitely always there for me, even when I don’t realize that I need them.”
Keri Mullin, a senior accounting major agreed. “Relationships seem to get better because your parents aren’t constantly nagging you about doing your work, where you’re going, or who you’re hanging out with,” said Mullin.
Mullin continued, “Students then appreciate their parents when they realize how on their own they really are in college. Students then seem to become more dependent on their parents for necessities or just a little taste of home when times get tough.”
Independence isn’t an uncommon trait at this age. Many students have jobs and make their own money. Many live away from home for months, and some have even moved out of their parents homes for good. That isn’t the case from most college students though, many of us are still getting our bills paid and still happy to head back to our parents homes during breaks. Yet even the most independent of students can appreciate a “good luck!” or “I love you!” text from their moms or dads.
So, perhaps not everyone is like me, who needs to text my mom to confirm what I can mix with cough medicine so I don’t overdose myself when I have a cold. But next time you have a question that only your parents can answer, know that you probably aren’t as independent as you may think. It’s okay, you’re not the only one.
IMAGE TAKEN from collegeworks.com