As I finished up my senior year of high school, I could not wait to get my freedom.
Sure, I loved my parents and my home, but there was just something so enticing about a fresh start, about making my own decisions, about essentially having my own place to stay and being able to keep it how I wanted it.
I wouldn’t have to hear my mom tell me to clean up my room every single day, or have my dad tell me to take care of my dishes. I could do things when I wanted, how I wanted. I would ultimately have more privacy.
So when I first came to Ferris this fall, I was somewhat antsy as my parents helped me move in all my things. My mom was being overly clingy, a sign she wasn’t ready to let me go, and my dad made himself comfortable on my bed as if to say, “Don’t worry, we’ll be here a while.” We sat in my room, finally settled, as I expected any minute for them to say, “Well, I guess we’ll take off now.” Instead, my mom kept asking me if there was anything else I needed from the store and my dad continued to relax.
After finally convincing them I’d be fine, I gave the final hugs goodbye and was free. Following the initial hour of awkwardness when everyone in my residence hall stayed locked in their rooms, I was on my way to making friends and getting comfortable.
I remember that first week I received more phone calls than ever from home. They seemed constant, and though I enjoyed talking to my parents, let’s face it, I was a busy college kid meeting new people and exploring my new surroundings. My responses to phone calls from my mom were always rushed. “Hey, can I call you back later?” I often forgot, and if I did talk to my mom, calls were brief as I was anxious to get on to my next activity.
But what I’ve realized lately is just as college was a big transition for me, it was also for my parents. For 18 years, my parents raised me and were essentially involved in every area of my life. Even when I was busy with school and friends, I would come home to them and know they’d always be there. And as far as freedom, as long as I was under their roof, I had to do what they said.
Though I’m not perfect, my parents raised me to be a good person and make good decisions. Even when we don’t always get along, they strongly desire to be involved in my life. Not because they’re nosy or want to make sure I stay out of trouble, but because they genuinely care about me. They’ve invested so much time in me letting go can be hard.
Even when it seems like a pain to take a few minutes to fill your parents in on life, try to slow down and let them into your world. I’m still working on it, but I have to remember my parents were always there for me for that whole part of my life before now. They helped shape me to who I am now, and they still want to be a part of my life. I still want them there, too.
Another great thing about college is how much tension it can relieve from parental relationships. My relationship with my parents is much better now that I’ve stepped away and we’ve both learned to better appreciate and respect each other.
So next time you have time, or even if you don’t think you do amidst your busy schedule, give your parents a call. You’d be surprised how much it means to them, especially if you’re instigating it. It’s the least we can do to let them know we’re still their kids, especially after everything they do for us. n