Parents and College Students: A few students share about how their relationships with their parents have changed since living at college.

      In my experience, college has been a really   interesting and exciting period for my relationship with my mom. We have always been incredibly close, so at first, I was worried about what might happen when I left for school. I was nervous that we would grow apart, and I was not sure what I would do with her being so far away from me. However, all my fears have been proven wrong. Our relationship has morphed and stretched in ways I never would have imagined, and may never have happened, if I had not gone away for school.

      When I lived at home, I was the typical teenager. I loved my mom, but often felt smothered by her or was bored by our conversations. I wanted to get out of the house, make my own decisions and not have to answer to anyone. It put a lot of strain on our relationship, and I think by the end of last summer, we were both ready for me to go.

      Now that I do not see my mom every day, talking to her is more exciting. I look forward to updating her on my life and hearing about how things are at home. Between our busy schedules, it is a special thing to get to sit and talk to her for fun. Also, now that we do not live in the same house, we are able to have more adult conversations. Instead of only being her daughter and living under her rules, my mom and I can share our lives as equals.

      Stephanie Druid, a sophomore biology major and women’s lacrosse player, shares a similar experience.   “I think I appreciate my parents more now than I did when I lived with them. It’s easier to take them for granted when you’re with them all the time, and I definitely did. But now, I’m kind of going back on that and appreciating them more for all they did for me in my childhood, and what they’re continuing to do for me as a young adult. We’ve always been close, but I maybe didn’t appreciate them as much. I did appreciate them, it was just different,” said Druid.

      Many students seem to agree that going away to school has been good for their relationships with their parents in unexpected ways. Some appreciate the extra space because it gave them the opportunity to really appreciate their parents while others found that the distance helped to dissolve some of the issues their relationship may have had before. “I’m a lot closer with my mom specifically because, you know that phrase ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder?’

      When we’re close together we butt heads a lot, but now that I’m away from home, I think that tension has dissipated. I also think that we’re more like equals too though, because now that I’m out of the house, she doesn’t really have to worry about taking care of me or anything like that,” said Alexa Swantek.

      Moving out of your parent’s house presents unique issues and situations for everyone, but I for one am grateful for the experience, to watch as my relationship with my mom has grown and changed during this transition.

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