Moving away for college is more than just a change in zip code, friends or style. More than anything, heading to university can cause your relationship with your parents to take on an entirely new meaning.
When you’re at home, your parents can control many of your decisions, but while you’re at university, their input has gone from mandatory supervision to optional guidance. For some, they transform from nagging authoritarians to a reliable support system.
That said, there are some things you come to realize about your relationship with your parents after embarking on your college adventure.
1. When you have a question about life — insurance carriers, cover letters, weird rashes or absentee ballots — CAS freshman Chioma Chekezie said your parents always have the answer.
“I try to call my parents a few times a week, but if I have a question I’ll always call them right away,” Chekezie said.
2. LS freshman Riley Blake said seeing your parents can feel like going home. Their visits are like breaths of fresh air and a whiff of home that can get you through the semester when you’re feeling homesick.
“My parents erase homesickness when they visit because they were always there for me at home,” Blake said. “Place is irrelevant.”
3. You now know that you have to make the most of your time with them, whether that’s planning a fun trip together or staying indoors during break to watch “Seinfeld” reruns instead of going out with your friends. Even though it may not have been that way when you were younger, Tisch freshman Julia Yelvington said distance can change a relationship.
“I think the parent-child dynamic shifts more dramatically with parents who were stricter in high school,” Yelvington said. “My mom and I have definitely grown more as friends now that I’m out of the house.”
4. You discover that you don’t ever have to feel lonely, so long as your parents have cell service. Your parents will always be your biggest supporters, presidents of your fan club and the rocks grounding you to reality, said Steinhardt freshman Jade Bourke.
“I call my mom whenever I need support,” Bourke said. “She’s always there for me no matter what.”
5. You start to appreciate everything your parents did to get you where you are more than you’ll ever be able to explain. LS freshman Carmen Colosi said sometimes when you’re younger, you don’t really realize how much they do for you.
“The amount of detail my parents paid to my life annoyed me in high school, but I later realized that they gave me everything they possibly could and then let me go off to be my own person,” Colosi said. “Now we’re friends on a different level.”
Email Kate Holland at [email protected]