A Teen’s Perspective: Coping with your child moving away

moving away

As a college freshman, this is the first time I have lived on my own, and my parents have been uneasy.

I understand how difficult it must be for them to see their child move away, and for them not to be here for me when I am sick or when I’m upset to comfort me. This is a new stage in my life, and it is just as new for them as it is for me.

I am not an adult. I still do not know everything there is to know about life as a college student, and I still rely on my parents in that respect. However, I am still a young adult, and the point of being away at school is to try and learn to live on my own. When I need help, it is there, but when I don’t, I can start to take care of everything on my own.

Brandeis student

At first, my parents had an incredibly difficult time letting go. They didn’t want to know where I was at every given moment, but they were constantly reminding me of the same things that I needed to take care of, inquiring when assignments were due, and becoming upset that I did not have a lot of time to talk to them when they called. It was kind of ironic, because when I was living at home my parents never had to remind me of such things, and I was very responsible about getting my assignments done with ample time.  I still am.

I felt bad becoming frustrated, but it was difficult not to. Here, I was trying to start taking responsibility for my own actions, and I felt that my parents didn’t trust me to do so. I am just incredibly busy, and I don’t have time to have a conversation that solely includes reminders, or things that I already know. I would rather discuss how my family and friends are actually doing with the little free time I have to talk on the phone.

On one phone call, my mother actually started crying. She felt like I was rejecting her, and she explained how hard it was for her that I was away. After that phone call, we began to institute a happy medium. She realized that she needed to let me breathe and could no longer take care of everything for me in my efforts to become an adult, and I finally realized just how difficult having me away was for my parents.

When your children grow up and go away, they will inevitably make errors. I know I have. But I have learned from them, and I have contacted my parents and discussed these mistakes with them. You just have to let your adolescents learn from these experiences, and trust that they will come to you.

From my perspective, I saw college as a time to learn for myself, and leaving home was not so difficult. For me personally, being away at school is an incredible experience, and living on my own has not been difficult for me to manage. However, when I need my parents, I always know that I can call them for help. I will call them when I have a moment, when I miss home, or when I need their help. They just need to trust that.

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